US sends 12 F-16 fighter jets to air base in Poland

9h_99412755The US Defense Department confirmed on Wednesday that it is sending a dozen F-16 fighter jets and 300 personnel to the US aviation detachment at Lask Air Base in Poland.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced last week that the United States would augment the aviation detachment in light of the situation in Ukraine and Pentagon spokesman Steven Warren provided details Wednesday in a meeting with reporters.

Warren said that the F-16s will deploy from Aviano Air Base in Italy and arrive at Lask Air Base by the end of this week.

“This enhancement marks another milestone in the rotational deployment of US military aircraft that we began in late 2012,” he added.

Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak agreed on March 9 to consider options for locations, with US European Command deciding on the number of aircraft.

“It’s consistent with the enduring partnership between the US and Poland,” Warren said, adding that “augmenting this aviation detachment was a deliberate choice to demonstrate to our allies that US commitments to our collective defense responsibilities are credible and remain in force.”

Voice of Russia, Xinhua

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