American fighters of this type [F-22 Raptor] will be deployed to Souda Air Base, Crete. In this base is the 115th Fighter Wing of the Greek Air Force is located. This news was shared by some Greek media. BulgarianMilitary.com also confirms the information, citing a source from the Greek Ministry of National Defense.
Deployment of fighters of this type outside the continental US and purely US bases around the world is quite rare. But the Americans want advanced deployments and joint training of the F-22 to be able to perform airspace missions wherever and whenever needed. The Eastern Mediterranean region is of utmost importance in the current period for US interests.
The exact date is unknown
An information published in the daily press about the deployment of F-22A fighters in Souda towards the end of the summer should not be considered true. Such actions by the US Air Force are carefully planned and avoid announcing their intentions in advance.
USAF is redesigning its exercises in close cooperation with Command in Europe [USAFE]. We will know the exact date of the deployment of F-22 in Crete a few days or even a few hours earlier. The Pentagon is careful about security issues, including possible provocations.
What is certain is that the Greek F-16s, but hopefully also the Rafales, will gain significant experience against the world’s leading air superiority fighter. We are sure that the Greek pilots will benefit the most from this kind of training.