Today’s Defence news includes continued coverage of the Defence Secretary’s visit to meet the troops supporting NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Estonia and the arrival of the US F-35A aircraft at RAF Lakenheath.
NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence
There is continued coverage on Britain’s support to NATO’s eFP included in The Sun, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, and The Mirror. The Defence Secretary yesterday told the 800 British personnel deployed in Estonia: "You are doing us proud," adding that “Estonia does not stand alone on its frontier of freedom.”
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:
“The troops I have met today are part of one of the UK’s largest ever deployments to Eastern Europe. This marks our commitment to European security and standing with our allies in the face of an increasingly assertive Russia.”
DSACEUR General Sir James Everard, the most senior UK officer in NATO, is also quoted in coverage and said British troops were at the “front of the shield.”
Read more about this deployment here.
US F-35 arrival
The Telegraph, The Times, and Daily Mail report that the arrival of US F-35 A-Lightning II aircraft at RAF Lakenheath. The papers say that the jets landed at the Suffolk base at the weekend, and will take part in training exercises across Europe over the coming weeks.
An MOD spokesperson said:
“We welcome the US deployment of eight aircraft, which underlines that we stand side-by-side with our closest ally. The US decision to use RAF Lakenheath as the base for the F-35A Lightning II’s first overseas training is a clear demonstration of the closeness of this partnership, as well as the US commitment to NATO and Europe. Training alongside each other will be beneficial for both the Royal Air Force and US Air Force.”
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