Nov. 16 (UPI) — A detachment of U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter planes moved from Germany to the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Central Command announced on Monday.
Planes of the 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, deployed at Spangdahlem Air Base, arrived last week at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE, the command said.
Although CENTCOM did not offer specific information about the move, the UAE base has been the center of operations for planes patrolling the Persian Gulf to monitor activities by Iran’s military.
F-35s stationed at the base returned to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in October.
“The deployment of the 480th Fighter Squadron demonstrates the U.S. Air Force’s agility and CENTCOM’s commitment to allies and partners to bolster security and stability in the region,” said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force commander, said in a statement.
“While deployed, the unit will conduct a wide range of missions, including combat operations and training with joint and regional partners, enhance the unit’s overall readiness and return to [U.S. European Command] better prepared to support future operations,” Guillot said.
The move was an example of the command’s Dynamic Force Employment concept, which gives “joint force commanders the critical capability to move forces fluidly into and across the theater in order to seize, retain and exploit the initiative against an adversary,” CENTCOM said.
CENTCOM’s last dynamic deployment, a detachment of U.S. Air Force F-16s from Aviano Air Base, Italy, to the UAE, occurred in October 2019.