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General Tod Wolters, a top U.S. air force commander, said that the F-35A jet, which is taking part in its first training mission outside the United States, was a “game changer” for deterrence, The Times reports.

He was speaking as about 1,100 British and French troops, supported by tanks and artillery, began a deployment in Estonia to help to defend NATO’s eastern flank from any attempt by President Putin to test Russia’s shared border with the alliance.

Read alsoBloomberg: NATO's build-up in east cuts fear of conflict, Estonia saysAs UNIAN reported earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in February announced four robust multinational battle groups would be deployed on the Alliance's eastern flank in June in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine