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US Air Force F-35 fighters arrive at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base for Atlantic Trident 21 exercise


U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, landed at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base, France, on May 10. During their time in the European theater, the 4th FS aircraft will participate in multiple events, including Atlantic Trident 21, underscoring the steadfast U.S. commitment to the region and enhancing interoperability with NATO allies and partners.

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US Air Force F 35 fighters arrive at Mont de Marsan Air Base for Atlantic Trident 21 exercise 1

USAF F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxi down the flightline at Mont-de-Marsan Air Base, France, May 10, 2021 (Picture source: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)


It is the third time that the Atlantic Trident exercise is organized. The first two editions, in 2015 and 2017, took place in the United States. The "Atlantic Trident 2021" exercise will take place for the first time in France and in Europe, from May 17 to 28, 2021, at Mont-de-Marsan air base 118. Organized by the Air Force Command (CFA), this training will see the participation of the three Western air forces, among the only ones in the world capable of operating on the entire spectrum of air missions: the US Air Force, the Royal Air Force and the French Air and Space Force (Armés de l’Air et de l’Espace).

The exercise will indeed involve together the Rafales of the French Air Force, the Eurofighter Typhoons of the Royal Air Force, and the fifth-generation F-35B and F-22A Raptor fighters of the U.S. Air Force. The objective of the exercise, as described by the French Ministry of Defense, is to “prepare to operate in coalition with the latest generation of combat aircraft, in a contested air environment.”


US Air Force F 35 fighters arrive at Mont de Marsan Air Base for Atlantic Trident 21 exercise 2

(Picture source: Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace)