A dozen F-35 fighter jets have been deployed to the Middle East to bolster US Central Command's air power amid threats from Russia and Iran, according to a statement from the US Air Command.
The 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron aircraft from Utah are deployed to help improve regional security, protect interests and preserve air freedom in the region.
"In coordination with our regional allies, partners and the U.S. Navy, the F-35's will partner with A-10 and F-16s already in theater helping monitor the Strait of Hormuz," the news release says.
The US move comes after Iran seized a merchant ship in the Persian Gulf and Russia tried to shoot down a US reconnaissance plane over Syria.
The F-35 fighter jets will provide the US with the capacity and capability to fly in contested airspace across the battlefield if necessary.
The US is deploying them to ensure peace and security in the region in its ongoing mission to defeat Daesh in Syria.
Source: Defence Blog