Eight A-10s, a KC-135, and more than 200 airmen from bases around the US and Europe recently deployed to Estonia for training as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The A-10s, from 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., arrived at Amari Air Base on July 25 for the two-week exercise. The A-10s also are training with British, Estonian, Lithuanian, and Latvian joint terminal attack controllers during the exercise. Two A-10s and two British RAF Typhoon FGR4s flew over Tallinn, Estonia, on Tuesday as part of the demonstration of capabilities, and all eight A-10s successfully landed on and took off from a highway in the northeastern European country Monday, practice for when the aircraft is forced to land on alternative runways, Col. Gregory Eckfeld, vice commander of 442nd Fighter Wing, said in a press release. The participation of the KC-135 Stratotanker, from the 185th Air Refueling Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard, marks the first time airmen and aircraft from the 185th ARW are participating in a forward training deployment in Estonia, according to the wing. Airmen from the 442nd Medical Squadron and the 442nd Civil Engineering Squadron are also participating in the exercise.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.