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Air Force F-15Es arrive in United Arab Emirates

The F-15Es arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base on deployment from the 494th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Royal Air Force Lakenheath in Britain, to support ongoing Middle East operations.

By
Ed Adamczyk
An unknown number of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates last week, the Air Force announced on Wednesday. Photo by SSgt. Anna-Kay Ellis/U.S. Air Force
An unknown number of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates last week, the Air Force announced on Wednesday. Photo by SSgt. Anna-Kay Ellis/U.S. Air Force

Oct. 24 (UPI) -- F-15E Strike Eagle fighter planes arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, last week to support ongoing operations in the Middle East, the U.S. Air Force announced.

Citing operational security concerns, the Air Force did not specify how many planes arrived, but they join F-35A Lightning II, KC-10 Extender, E-3 Sentry, and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft at the base.

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In a statement on Wednesday, U.S. Air Forces Central Command said the deployment is a "in support of ongoing operations to maintain air superiority, defend forces on the ground, enhance regional partnerships and demonstrate a continued commitment to regional security and stability."

The aircraft are part of the 494th Fighter Squadron, known as the "Panthers," stationed in Lakenheath, Britain.

The Strike Eagle, which first entered service in the 1980s, has been deployed in the past for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya. Its specialty has been deep strikes against targets, combat air patrols, close air support for coalition troops.

The U.S. Air Force sent next-generation F35-A Lightning II fighter planes to the U.A.E. air base in April.Weeks later they carried out the F-35A's first combat airstrikes when they bombed an Islamic State tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq.

The F-35s also participated in an "air operations in maritime surface warfare" integration exercise with the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf in July.

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