F-35s, F-15Cs Arrive in Bulgaria

Twelve F-15C Eagles landed in Bulgaria April 26 as part of a theater security package. The package, including 300 airmen from the Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard and the 12 aircraft from the 122nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, arrived at Graf Ignatievo Air Base in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, according to a US European Command release. Two days later, USAF sent two F-35As to Bulgaria, along with 20 supporting airmen, for training purposes, according to a Defense Department release. The F-35s, from the Air Force’s 34th Fighter Squadron and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, are based at Hill AFB, Utah. The F-35As deployed to RAF Lakenheath, England, on April 15, marking the type’s first overseas deployment, and previously made a brief stop in Estonia. “This deployment clearly demonstrates our nation’s contribution to the security and collective defense here in Europe,” said Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, EUCOM commander and NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, in the release. “It shows we are serious about territorial integrity and will defend our interests with the most advanced capabilities our nation has to offer.”