The F-35s that the Netherlands has stationed in Bulgaria are flying their last missions today. The task is to monitor the airspace on the eastern flank of the NATO treaty area. Two F-35s have been available to NATO since April. Bulgaria would like the fighter planes to stay longer. However, this is not possible due to the limitations of the Dutch armed forces.
The fighter planes are there for a reason, as experience has shown. In any case, there is a deterrent effect. Apart from that, there were several times threatening situations towards NATO territory. That led to an alarm of the F-35s.
The aircraft operate from the Bulgarian Graf Ignatievo. Here are 4 F-35s. Half of it is kept as a reserve. The fighter jets and the approximately 100 soldiers of the F-35 detachment will return to Leeuwarden Air Base this week.
It is not yet known whether one of the other allies will take over the task of the Netherlands.