“There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia.The operational plan is to strike from Romanian airspace in the south and the Baltic states in the north, in camouflage of the NATO exercise called “Air Defender 23”, and under cover of US F-16 fighter aircraft purportedly operated by Ukrainian pilots but fuelled, directed, and guarded by more than two hundred US and NATO aircraft, including the most advanced US air war fighter, the F-35.”
By John Helmer, Moscow
There is a grave risk that in three weeks’ time US and NATO forces will attempt direct combat against Russia.
The operational plan is to strike from Romanian airspace in the south and the Baltic states in the north, in camouflage of the NATO exercise called “Air Defender 23”, and under cover of US F-16 fighter aircraft purportedly operated by Ukrainian pilots but fuelled, directed, and guarded by more than two hundred US and NATO aircraft, including the most advanced US air war fighter, the F-35.
“This [is] the largest deployment exercise since the foundation of NATO”, according to the cover story published by NATO headquarters. “ Commanded at US bases in Germany, ostensibly led by German officers, a Bundeswehr “fact sheet” claims “100 [US] Air National Guard aircraft from 35 different states will make the leap across the Atlantic to participate in Air Defender 2023. In addition to the world’s most modern jets, the F35, more than 20 different types of aircraft and Airmen from 24 nations will practice air warfare operations together over Germany, but also over eastern Europe on the NATO border. Among them Eurofighter, F18, F16, A10, [Saab] Gripen jets.”
Including the Ukrainian regime in Kiev as one of “our partners in East and South-Eastern Europe”, the German military announcement says “we want to promote collective defense of common values (freedom, democracy, prosperity) – attack on one NATO nation is an attack on responsiveness of airpower – Allied air forces are first responders.”
Camouflaging US direction of the combined NATO attack operations from the Ramstein base in Germany, headquarters of the allied air command in Europe, are two parallel operations. “Two NATO exercises, RAMSTEIN DUST for NATOs Deployable Air Command and Control capability, the DARS, and RAMSTEIN GUARD for Electronic Warfare are linked into our exercise.”
In design since the start of the Russian Special Military Operation in February 2022, this plan of US and NATO air operations against Russia follows the defeat of the Ukrainian ground forces at Artemovsk (Bakhmut) and the strategic defeat of the US Patriot missile system at Kiev by the Russian hypersonic Kinzhal missile on May 16.
The use of NATO exercises to conceal active attacks on Russian targets was first demonstrated last September when the Nord Stream pipelines were blown up following the BALTOPS naval exercise. More recently, on May 13 a US-directed ambush of Russian aircraft was rehearsed when an Su-34 fighter-bomber, an SU-35 air-defence escort, and two Mi8 helicopters were hit simultaneously and downed in Russian airspace, over Bryansk region.
Listen to the broadcast discussion now:
The White House and Pentagon have been attempting to downplay the strategic significance of the Kinzhal strike against the Patriot system.
US officials, amplified by CNN and other propaganda outlets, have claimed there was “minimal” damage to “two components of the system”. No US casualties have been acknowledged in the 90-man crew required to operate the Patriot system’s radar, control centre, missile units, re-loading, and other equipment.
The day after the attack, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the military briefer at the White House, wasn’t so sure. Asked to clarify what had happened, Kirby said: “I cannot, no. First of all, I cannot confirm the reports. [On whether the Ukrainians can repair the damage] it would depend on, it would depend on the scope of the damage. As to whether or not it can be repaired by the Ukrainians, or whether we might need to help them… Obviously, if there was damage done to a Patriot system that needed to be repaired outside Ukraine, we would certainly assist with that.”
Click to listen from Minute 18:35 to 19:27.
There has been no press release, briefing, or comment from the Pentagon on the Patriot strike. No US official, and no US media have reported the failure of the Patriot to intercept the Russian missile, despite warnings from Moscow since last December that this would happen.
At that time Dmitry Medvedev, the former president and now deputy head of the Kremlin’s Security Council, said: “Even before reports emerged on the delivery of Patriot systems, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of Russia’s Security Council which is chaired by President Vladimir Putin, warned that if Patriots enter Ukraine ‘along with NATO personnel, they will immediately become a legitimate target for our armed forces.’”
President Vladimir Putin issued his warning on December 25: “Of course we will destroy it, 100 percent!”
The post-operational Russian intelligence reports of May 18 and May 20 indicate “a multifunctional radar station, as well as five launchers of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system manufactured by the United States were hit and completely destroyed.”
In the days following, Russian military operations have intensified long-range missile attacks targeting anti-aircraft defence complexes, rail marshalling yards, fuel and ammunition stocks, equipment parks, and reserve assembly areas in the west of the Ukraine, including Khmelnitsky, Rivne, Zhitomir, and Lvov. The scope of targeting goes beyond the Electric War of previous months, a NATO forces veteran comments. “It’s now a full-on campaign. Now that the US/NATO air defence has proven to be useless against Russian strike capabilities, I expect them to take to the sky. It’s all they have left.”
The source agrees with retired US military experts in the alternative media who do not believe that supplying old F-16 aircraft to Kiev adds significant air defence or air attack capability against Russia. The F-16s for the Ukraine are a deception, camouflage for a much deeper NATO attack plan, the source warns. “How about the F-16s being cover for US F-22s or other US aircraft in Romanian or Polish airspace, firing stand- off weapons?”
This is now the looming Russia-attack threat of the Ramstein “exercises”; these are scheduled to run from June 12 to June 24. Japan is one of the non-member state NATO “partners” officially acknowledged to be participating; Ukraine is not mentioned in the NATO press releases.
The German Army is less reticent about the identity of “partners” engaged in Air Defender 23, as distinct from the NATO member states. The Germans are claiming “our Eastern partners are participating in the exercise, with air assets and planners in the Air Operations Headquarters. Additionally, we plan and conduct daily missions to show force at NATO’s eastern flank.” The Luftwaffe is planning “three big Composite Air Operations every day – with about 40-80 aircraft each, and command and control elements. All in all, it is about 250 sorties per day.”
“We created three large Exercise Areas in the east, south and north of Germany that will be used every day in sequenced activation. Additionally, our neighbours Poland and Czech Republic offered their Military Training Areas for so called continuation training, means smaller Air Defence exercise missions outside the big waves.”
“Air Defender reflects the Russian war of aggression,” the Germany military have declared. “The war in Ukraine determines our present and shapes our future…With Air Defender we send a clear signal that we absolutely guarantee the security of the alliance. Without ifs or buts. We need to train as we fight, so we can fight as we have trained.” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has been more explicit, claiming he supports air attacks on Russian territory, and is building German-Polish combat support bases on the Polish side of the border with the Ukraine. It is “completely normal” in such a military conflict, Pistorius has said, “that the attacked party also moves into the opponent’s territory, for example, to cut off supply routes.” “
German Luftwaffe chief, Lieutenant-General Ingo Gerhartz with (left) Defense Minister Boris Pistorius; (right) with US Air Force Chief of Staff, General Charles Brown, making a gift of a model of one of Manfred von Richthofen’s red “flying circus” fighters of World War I. Unlike von Richthofen, Gerhartz has risen from conscript to general without ever having faced an adversary in air combat. His only military action to date was dropping bombs on Afghan civilians.
South of the Ukrainian battlefield, Romania and Bulgaria will also be participating in the Air Defender 23 operations. Watch the rehearsals for reconnaissance, electronic warfare, targeting command and control in Romanian airspace on May 11.
Click to enlarge picture at source.
These operations are far from new and no surprise to the counterpart Russians operating in the Black Sea and from Crimea.
If Russian military intelligence moves from suspicion to conviction that air attacks by US and NATO aircraft are being readied under cover of the Ukrainian F-16s, Moscow sources anticipate “asymmetrical response”. The sources believe that if and when Poland or Romania allows a “Ukrainian” F-16 to take off from a local airfield to attack Russian forces, Polish and Romanian air bases will become Russian missile targets, just as the Patriot batteries were. US and NATO air support for such an F-16 sortie, including AWACS and RC-135 warfighting systems in the air at the same time, would become collateral targets.
The Poles have been showing reluctance for direct war with Russia. President Andrzej Duda had revealed this last November 2022 when he thought he was speaking on a secure telephone line to French President Emmanuel Macron. “Do you think I need a war with Russia?” Duda said then. “No, I don’t want that. I don’t want a war with Russia, I’m extremely careful, believe me. I am extremely careful.”
That was six months ago. Last week in Iceland Duda claimed Poland would not supply F-16 aircraft to the Ukraine. He omitted what Poland is already doing, and will do next month during Air Defender 23.
According to the Polish press report, “President Andrzej Duda spoke about the possibility of transferring Polish fighters to Ukraine in Reykjavik on May 17.” “ ‘We are in the absolute vanguard of countries when it comes to the transfer of weapons to Ukraine. It is we who have handed over virtually unprecedented amounts of arms as far as the European Union is concerned. We handed over 300 tanks to Ukraine. We have already handed over to Ukraine all our MiG-29s, which Ukraine has been asking for since the very beginning of the conflict,’ he said.”
“We have a relatively small number of F-16 aircraft. We are ready to support the process of training Ukrainian pilots – I talked about this with the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Defense some time ago. However, the number of F-16 aircraft that we have does not allow us to talk about transferring any part of them to Ukraine today. We are ready to systematically hand over the MiG-29. We have a problem there, because we have some MiGs that already operate in NATO standards, they perform the Air Policing mission, and therefore they serve the defense of NATO countries, but we promised that we will successively hand over these aircraft – said Duda.”
In the third and final segment of the TNT Radio broadcast, the discussion focuses on the Jack Teixeira case in which the US is accusing Teixeira of stealing and publishing Ukraine war briefing papers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
New evidence revealed in US federal court last week reveals how much the US Air Force (USAF) command has known about Teixeira for months before the Pentagon Papers leak, and how much encouragement Teixeira received to copy and post documents he said at the time he had no intention of disclosing.
For detailed background on the new evidence of what USAF Chief of Staff General Charles Brown and his subordinates knew, and when they knew it, read this.