US stealth jets deployed to South Korea as tensions rise
HOUSTON, Friday (Reuters) The U.S. Air Force has ordered 15 of its
F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter jets to South Korea as tensions
increase on the peninsula with the possibility of a North Korean nuclear
The radar-evading planes began flying from Holloman Air Force Base in
southern New Mexico to U.S. air bases in South Korea this week in a
deployment expected to last four months, a Holloman spokesman said.
About 250 airmen from the U.S. 49th Fighter Wing will accompany the
aircraft, the Air Force said in a statement.
The Holloman spokesman said the F-117A deployment was not linked to
rising tensions in the region, but U.S. officials have warned that North
Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon.
In February, North Korea said it possessed nuclear weapons and it was
withdrawing from six-nation talks aimed at ending its atomic ambitions.
The Air Force said the deployment "is part of an ongoing measure to
maintain a credible deterrent posture and presence in the region." Last
summer, about two dozen of the stealth fighters were sent to Kunsan Air
Base in South Korea.
The F-117A Nighthawk makes use of stealth technology "to penetrate
deep into enemy air space to deliver satellite and laser-guided
munitions onto time sensitive, high value targets," the Air Force