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Official: USAF F-35s to Deploy to Europe


A press release from USAFE:

Exercise Astral Knight 2019

Astral Knight 2019, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe led exercise is scheduled to take place in the beginning of June, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, as well as other locations in Croatia, Germany, and Slovenia.


Astral Knight 2019 is a joint, multinational exercise involving airmen, soldiers and sailors from the United States working with service members from Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia.


The exercise is an integrated air and missile defense exercise focused on conducting defense of key terrain. Training will involve a combination of flight operations and computer-assisted scenarios.


Aircraft planned to participate in the exercise will include U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, F-16 Fighting Falcons, F-35 Lightning IIs, KC-135 Stratotankers, and E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, Italian air force F-35 Lightening IIs, Eurofighter Typhoons, and Croatian MiG-21s.


U.S. Naval Forces Europe plans to support the exercise with an Arleigh Burke class destroyer.


U.S. Army Europe plans to provide soldiers and equipment to operate the Patriot surface-to-air missile system.


This exercise aims to enhance the command and control integration, coordination and interoperability of air, land and sea capabilities and overlapping operations into the integrated air and missile defense enterprise.



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