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F-22 Raptors Join A-10 Warthogs in Estonia

A pair of fifth-generation F-22 stealth fighter jets joined a pair of Cold-War era A-10 attack aircraft in Estonia over the weekend in a show of support to NATO allies against Russian military activity in the region.

The Raptors and about 20 supporting airmen from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, along with a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling tanker, arrived Sept. 5 at the Ämari Air Base in Estonia as part of the European Reassurance Initiative, according to a press release from the Air Force.

The deployment of the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made fighters, which will spend time at Ämari before returning to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, highlights how "European bases and other NATO installations can host 5th generation fighters while also affording the chance for familiarization flight training within the European theater," the release states.

In addition to being an example of a show of force against Russia, which has taken a more aggressive posture in the region since last year's annexation of Crimea from the Ukraine, the deployment of the F-22s was noteworthy in part because the aircraft flew alongside the aging A-10, which the Air Force is trying to retire.

Check out these photographs captured by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane of the F-22 and A-10 in the skies and on the tarmac in Estonia:

An F-22 Raptor and two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015 as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane) An F-22 Raptor and two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015 as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane)

A KC-135 Stratotanker along with two F-22 Raptors and two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane) A KC-135 Stratotanker along with two F-22 Raptors and two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane)

An F-22 Raptor and an A-10 Thunderbolt II fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane) An F-22 Raptor and an A-10 Thunderbolt II fly overhead before landing at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, as part of a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane)

An F-22 Raptor takes off from Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, following a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane) An F-22 Raptor takes off from Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, following a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane)

F-22 Raptor pilots are shown with one of their jets at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, during a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane) F-22 Raptor pilots are shown with one of their jets at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, Sept. 4, 2015, during a brief forward deployment. The F-22s have previously deployed to both the Pacific and Southwest Asia for Airmen to train in a realistic environment while testing partner nations' ability to host advanced aircraft like the F-22. The F-22s are deployed from the 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The U.S. Air Force routinely deploys aircraft and Airmen to Europe for training and exercises. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane)

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