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Two F-35 Marine Corps fighters will conduct a flyover of the White House on Wednesday to mark Polish president Andrzej Duda's visit, according to U.S. officials.

12 Haziran 2019 - 19:36

Two F-35 Marine Corps fighters will conduct a flyover of the White House on Wednesday to mark Polish president Andrzej Duda's visit, according to U.S. officials.

The rare White House flyover is the first for the U.S. military's most advanced aircraft. It could signal that the U.S. and Poland have reached a deal for Warsaw to acquire F-35s of its own, a long-sought-after purchase so that Poland could replace aging Soviet-era planes.

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The F-35s are flying to the nation's capital from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina. They're expected to fly low and slow over the White House South Lawn just before 2 p.m. EST at about 1,000 feet and 115 miles per hour, one official said.

That would be shortly before President Donald Trump and the Polish president are scheduled to hold a news conference outside in the White House Rose Garden.

Trump has described the F-35 stealth aircraft as "invisible" and has personally intervened with the aircraft's producer Lockheed Martin to lower the cost of the program.

"PHOTO:Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough/Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) fly the F-35B Lightning II during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, April 28.

In addition to a possible F-35 sale, Trump is expected to announce that the U.S. will send approximately 1,000 U.S. rotational forces to Poland, a separate U.S. official said. The additional U.S. troops will be stationed at various Polish bases in the country.

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The announcement will not include the establishment of a U.S. base in Poland, dubbed "Fort Trump," which was originally proposed by the Poles to counter Russian aggression, that official confirmed.

Asked about "Fort Trump" on Tuesday before a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan replied, "Why don't we let President Trump make any announcement like that."

"PHOTO:Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough/Marine Corps Recruit Depot
Pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 (VMFAT-501) fly the F-35B Lightning II during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, April 28.

He said later that the U.S. and Poland had "put together a strong security cooperation package."

Also on Tuesday, senior officials touted a "significant announcement" around the Polish president's visit related to the future security partnership and defense relationship between the U.S. and Poland, but officials declined to go into detail.

"Our relationship with Poland has helped ensure peace and security not just in Europe, but around the world," one official said during the call with reporters.

There are already 4,500 U.S. troops that rotate through Poland as part of NATO. The U.S. is also helping to construct a missile defense base in Poland, which aims to defend U.S. and European allies from a "rogue" missile threat, namely Iran.


Kaynak:Abcnews

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