What we are seeing is the prospect for more significant escalation against U.S. forces and personnel across the region, in the very near term, coming from Iranian proxy forces and ultimately from Iran.Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder on a squadron of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft arriving “at an undisclosed location” in the area of U.S. Central Command, which includes the Middle East, to “deter further aggression in the region.”
Context: The #1 priority of U.S. Central Command: “Deter Iran.” #2: Counter Violent Extremist Organizations. The Pentagon says militias backed by Iran are to blame for attacks against American positions.
Why It Matters: Gen. Ryder says multiple attacks (10 in Iraq and 3 in Syria) have occurred against U.S. bases in the Middle East and the squadron has the goal to “enhance the ability of U.S. forces to defend themselves.”
This announcements comes after news approximately 48 hours earlier of increased posture in the Middle East – including two aircraft carrier groups, missile defense systems and putting troops on alert of a “readiness to deploy.”
The squadron based in Atlantic City, New Jersey are also known as the “Jersey Devils.”
F-16s Head to Middle East to Help Protect U.S. Troops
Photo by: “F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing, 119th Fighter Squadron, of the New Jersey Air National Guard, prepare to land at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J., July 31, 2021. The squadron has been identified to deploy to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.”
by Jenna Lee,