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First AF theater security package deploys to Europe

First Lt. Micha Stoddard, flying the lead aircraft, and his wingman Capt. Casey Peasley fly their A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in an echelon formation March 26, 2014, enroute from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to their home base in Boise, Idaho. The crews performed an in-air refueling with a Utah National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker after the air combat exercise Green Flag East. Stoddard and Peasley are with the 190th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur)

First Lt. Micha Stoddard, flying the lead aircraft, and his wingman Capt. Casey Peasley fly their A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in an echelon formation March 26, 2014, enroute from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to their home base in Boise, Idaho. The crews performed an in-air refueling with a Utah National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker after the air combat exercise Green Flag East. Stoddard and Peasley are with the 190th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Becky Vanshur)

Pilots from the 354th Fighter Squadron taxi down the tarmac preparing to take off in their A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to a simulated deployed location as a part of exercise Bushwhacker 07-02 Jan. 21, 2007, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Shipps)

Pilots from the 354th Fighter Squadron taxi down the tarmac preparing to take off in their A-10 Thunderbolt IIs to a simulated deployed location as a part of exercise Bushwhacker 07-02 Jan. 21, 2007, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jesse Shipps)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) -- This week the U.S. Air Force deployed 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and approximately 300 Airmen as part of a theater security package to the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The aircraft and Airmen are from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and are set to be in place and fulfilling the TSP mission by the end of the month.

The TSPs will augment U.S. Air Forces in Europe's existing efforts as part of Atlantic Resolve by conducting flying training deployments and off-station training with NATO allies to further enhance interoperability.

Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of U.S. European Command and USAFE's continued commitment to the collective security of NATO and dedication to peace and stability in the region.

"The Air Force has been rotating forces as a part of OAR for the past year," said Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, the vice commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa. "The TSP is another way the Air Force is increasing rotational presence in Europe to reassure our allies and partner nations that our commitment to European security is a priority."

While in Germany, the unit will conduct training alongside NATO allies with the goal of strengthening interoperability and enhancing regional security. The unit will later forward deploy to locations in Eastern European NATO nations.

"The U.S. Air Force's forward presence in Europe area provides the support infrastructure needed to increase our current force and build new and deeper partnerships across the continent," Jones said.

The A-10s are the first of several TSP deployments to Europe. Rotations will generally last six months, depending on mission and EUCOM requirements. Although this is a first in Europe, the Air Force has been conducting similar TSP rotations in the Pacific region since 2004.