USAF F-22 Raptors perform enhanced air policing in Poland

As Pacific Air Forces F-22A raptors deployed at Lask Air Base to own the skies alongside NATO, Giovanni Colla looks at the work of the Alaskan fighters

The US Air Force deployed to Poland 12 F-22 Raptors and 300 service members from the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, the first Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) unit to deploy in support of NATO since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The deployment saw the arrival of the Raptors at 32nd Tactical Air Base of Łask, Poland, on August 4. Once in Poland, they became the 90th EFS Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, under NATO.

Two USAF F-22 Raptors assigned to the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron conduct a two-ship formation during the NATO Air Shielding. The Raptors are flying out of Lask Air Base for Air Shielding mission alongside Polish F-16s and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons. The U.S. remains dedicated to security commitments with NATO Alliance and postured to defend NATO territory. All images Giovanni Colla
Two USAF F-22 Raptors assigned to the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron conduct a two-ship formation during the NATO Air Shielding. The Raptors are flying out of Lask Air Base for Air Shielding mission alongside Polish F-16s and Italian Eurofighter Typhoons. The U.S. remains dedicated to security commitments with NATO Alliance and postured to defend NATO territory. All images Giovanni Colla All images Giovanni Colla

As part of NATO’s plan to bolster its defense posture, the 90th EFS took over the mission from the Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing F-35s. During their time at Łask, the US contingent trained and integrated with Polish Air Force F-16s and MiG-29s, Royal Danish Air Force F-16s, RAF Eurofighter Typhoons, French Air Force Rafales, Belgian Air Force F-16s, German Air Force EF 2000s and USAF B-52 Stratofortresses to enhance interoperability in NATO’s airspace.

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