The commander of the US Air Force Europe called for a permanent F-22 Raptor base in the region.

Last month, the US deployed four F-22 jet fighters to Europe for the first time under the European Reassurance Initiative.

The measure may be the first step in creating a permanent base for the F-22, General Frank Gorenc, commander of US Air Force in Europe and Air Forces Africa, said Wednesday during the Air Force Association’s conference.

According to the general, the recent deployment proved the capabilities of the fifth-generation jet fighter in the European theater to US allies.

“The decision to begin introducing the F-22 to the European theater was made a long time ago in an effort to try and send a message to assure our allies [of military support],” Gorenc was quoted as saying by Defense News.

During the deployment, the four aircraft and 60 servicemen from the 95th Fighter Squadron conducted training missions with different US and European jets.

The training aimed to prove that the F-22 can successfully deploy to European bases and other NATO facilities.

“You can bet that I will be asking for that capability. I recognize there are priorities to be set. But I think we’re ready, we proved a lot,” Gorenc said.

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