US Air Forces in Europe dispatched its largest F-16 rotation to date to Lask AB, Poland, for training with Polish F-16s in response to Russian military aggression and unrest in Ukraine. USAFE announced this rotation on June 3, the same day that President Obama addressed US and Polish airmen in Warsaw during his Poland visit. “Our commitment to Poland’s security, as well as the security of our allies in Central and Eastern Europe, is a cornerstone of our own security and it is sacrosanct,” he said while speaking alongside Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. The force of 18 F-16s from Spangdahlem AB, Germany, began touching down at Lask on May 30, marking the third flying rotation to the NATO ally this year, according to a Spangdahlem release. Nearly 300 airmen deployed to Lask and about 100 more are rotating to Powidz. While in Poland, Obama announced the European Reassurance Initiative, a series of measures built around a persistent US air, land, and sea presence in the region, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, to assure NATO allies in the face of Russia’s aggression. Obama asked Congress to provide up to $1 billion in funding for the initiative in the next year.
Former British prime minister and now foreign minister David Cameron urged the U.S. Congress not to stop supporting Ukraine, saying the West has gotten a bargain in dramatically reducing Russia’s military power for a fraction of the U.S. defense budget.