Mariusz Błaszczak made the announcement in a radio interview on Thursday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, said "the US pilots would patrol the Polish skies and train with their Polish colleagues."
The six F-22 Raptor fighter jets will be stationed at Łask Air Base in central Poland, Błaszczak told Polish Radio.
Meanwhile, the command of the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA), based in Ramstein, Germany, said in a statement: “The U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, the F-22 Raptor has arrived at RAF Lakenheath, England, en route to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, Łask, Poland, to support NATO Air Shielding in the European Theater.”
It added: “The aircraft are from the 90th Fighter Squadron, 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and will be supporting Air Shielding as the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.”
NATO Air Shielding mission
“The NATO Air Shielding mission integrates Allied Air and Surface Based Air and Missile Defence units into the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence system under NATO Command and Control,” the US Army said.
It added that the initiative “will provide a near seamless shield from the Baltic to Black Seas, ensuring NATO Allies are better able to safeguard and protect Alliance territory, populations and forces from air and missile threat.”
The Air Shielding mission was launched in the wake of NATO’s summit in Madrid last month, to bolster deterrence against potential Russian threats, news outlets reported.
Thursday is day 155 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, usafe.af.mil