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U.S. deploys fighter jets to Poland, sends message to Russia

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. F-16 fighter jets landed at Poland's Lask air base on Thursday (March 13) in a gesture of support for NATO's eastern members after Russia's intervention in Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw said. "Augmenting the aviation detachment was a deliberate choice to demonstrate to our allies that U.S. commitments to our collective defense responsibilities are credible and remain in force," the Warsaw embassy said in a statement, confirming earlier media reports. "A total of twelve aircraft are scheduled to arrive by the end of this week." Military exercises were beefed up at Warsaw's request after Russian forces seized control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Earlier this week, the United States and Poland began war games in Lask. U.S. officials say both the air drills, and joint naval exercises in the Black Sea were planned before the crisis in Ukraine.

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