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NATO to Hold Its Largest-Ever Air Exercises in June

As NATO brings Finland into the fold, the U.S. and Germany are preparing for the largest deployment of U.S. air forces to Europe since the formation of the U.S.-led security alliance.

The upcoming exercise, Air Defender 2023, will test the Air National Guard’s “ability to rapidly deploy and rapidly employ [forces],” similar to what the United States would have to do if the Ukraine war spreads to NATO, said Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, director of the Air National Guard. “It is the largest transatlantic movement we’ve done.”

The exercise will include aircraft the U.S. is about to retire, such as A-10s and F-15Cs, as well as new aircraft, such as F-35s, upgraded F-16s, and KC-46s, Loh said.

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Editor’s Note: The Kremlin is already enraged the NATO alliance, which was founded to provide security against the Soviet Union, is expanding to 31 members. Last week, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said the country will be taking steps to ensure Russia’s security as a result of the expansion.

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