Watch US F-35 jet fighters arrive in Europe (2017)

A fleet of US F-35A jet fighters have arrived in the UK for joint NATO training amid tension with Russia.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 8:56 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 8:56 PM

Despite opposition from the US Congress, Turkey is set to receive its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighters on Thursday during a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

"Lockheed Martin will hold a rollout ceremony for Turkey this Thursday in Fort Worth, and the two jets will follow-on to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona at a later date," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews told CNN.

"Turkish F-35 pilots and maintainers have arrived at Luke Air Force Base and will begin flight academics soon," he added.

Although Turkey has long been a participant in the development of the F-35 program, the US Senate had sought to block Turkey from receiving the stealth warplanes through language in the National Defense Authorization Act amid a deterioration of the US-Turkey relationship.

The Senate's version of the defense bill expressed concern over Ankara's planned purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft system from Russia and what it labeled Turkey's unlawful and wrongful detention of Andre Brunson, a US citizen.

Many US officials have expressed concern that a major Russian military system like the S-400 would be incompatible with the NATO systems used by Turkey's alliance partners.

The Senate bill also calls on Secretary of Defense James Mattis to submit to Congress "a plan to remove the Government of the Republic of Turkey from participation in the F-35 program" as well as list the "steps required to prohibit the transfer of any F-35 aircraft currently owned and operated, by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, from the territory of the United States."

A US defense official told CNN that Mattis is opposed to congressional attempts to block Turkey's receipt of the advanced warplanes. The official says Mattis has been actively engaging with members of Congress in an attempt to ensure that the language in the Senate's version of the defense bill does not make it into the final version to be signed by President Donald Trump.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the defense authorization bill on Monday.

Congressional efforts to block the sale to Turkey have drawn criticism from Turkish officials.

Criticism from Turkey

"We have been in that program, including some joint production, production of the parts of F-35s in Turkey," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told PBS earlier this month.

"Turkey has been paying the installments on time, on due time. And Turkey have met all the requirements, but you cannot cancel this because of the S-400s that we are buying. It is a totally different issue," he added, saying Turkey should not be forced to choose between the US and Russia.

Andrews said the Department of Defense "does not comment on proposed legislation," adding that "Turkey is a close, key NATO ally, and has been an international participant with the F-35 program since 2002."

The Senate bill still needs to be reconciled with the House's version and the final version would need to be signed by the President.

Twelve countries participate in the F-35 program. The nine partner nations that participated in the plane's development include the US, Turkey, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. All of these countries except for Canada, Denmark and Turkey have already begun receiving deliveries of the F-35 aircraft. Israel, Japan and South Korea have also received the jets through foreign military sales.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 90017

Reported Deaths: 2017
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25857922
Ramsey10492318
Dakota7125125
Anoka5753132
Stearns377023
Washington357355
Scott242633
Olmsted228727
Nobles193116
Blue Earth15986
Wright15337
St. Louis135234
Carver13517
Rice13018
Mower12864
Clay126140
Sherburne109314
Kandiyohi9312
Winona85018
Lyon6464
Waseca5328
Steele5212
Freeborn5163
Benton5113
Watonwan5054
Nicollet49916
Todd4792
McLeod4462
Chisago4441
Le Sueur4444
Crow Wing43318
Otter Tail3924
Beltrami3764
Goodhue3309
Martin3199
Pine2810
Itasca27713
Polk2734
Isanti2580
Douglas2491
Becker2442
Carlton2391
Cottonwood2190
Pipestone2129
Unassigned20952
Morrison2031
Dodge1990
Chippewa1921
Sibley1793
Meeker1772
Wabasha1740
Brown1732
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Murray1542
Rock1520
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Redwood1400
Jackson1331
Faribault1320
Renville1286
Cass1253
Roseau1160
Swift1141
Pennington1121
Houston1100
Fillmore1080
Kanabec1058
Koochiching1053
Lincoln1020
Stevens931
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Aitkin711
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Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall491
Lac qui Parle460
Mahnomen451
Red Lake390
Traverse300
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Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 80106

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15318256
Johnson499527
Woodbury498961
Black Hawk434986
Linn3783106
Story328617
Dubuque279840
Scott279727
Dallas269038
Pottawattamie200037
Buena Vista194712
Marshall176134
Sioux13503
Wapello126757
Webster119314
Clinton107018
Muscatine106452
Plymouth105220
Crawford10014
Cerro Gordo99621
Warren9286
Jasper76632
Des Moines7417
Marion7154
Tama69031
Carroll6345
Henry6074
Lee5967
Wright5621
Dickinson4856
Boone4677
Bremer4627
Washington43111
Louisa42515
Mahaska34019
Franklin33617
Delaware3353
Hamilton3143
Jackson3003
Floyd2983
Winneshiek2985
Clay2923
Benton2861
Hardin2761
Winnebago27111
Butler2592
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Poweshiek2498
Lyon2483
Allamakee2455
Jones2443
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Shelby2421
Clayton2323
Guthrie2235
Cedar2211
Chickasaw2210
Kossuth2190
Sac2140
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Madison2052
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Iowa1851
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