Officials said the Pentagon would send six additional F-15 jets and one KC-135 refuelling aircraft to “augment” the mission this week. The US already provides four F-15 jets to the mission.
“This action comes at the request of our Baltic allies and further demonstrates our commitment to Nato security,” a Pentagon official said. The Pentagon is now said to be “consulting” with Poland on a separate mission.
“This is a time for wise, steady and firm leadership,” Mr Hagel told a Senate panel. “It is a time for all of us to stand with the Ukrainian people in support of their territorial integrity and their sovereignty. We are doing that.”