The United States deployed F-22 fighter jets to Romania as a sign of military support for NATO's eastern European allies who say they face aggression from Russia.
The fighter jets landed on Monday at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in the country's southeast.
"The United States and Romania enjoy a very strong partnership," said Hans Klemm, the U.S. ambassador to Romania. The two countries are "seeking to make our joint contribution to the improvement of the defense of Europe, the defense of the transatlantic alliance, to improve the security in southeastern Europe, Romania - as a result of the aggression by Russia that has brought so much instability to this part of the world over the past two to three years."
A U.S. statement says F-22s possess sophisticated sensors allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. They also have significant capability to attack surface targets.
The aircraft are officially part of a NATO training exercise and will head to another NATO ally later in the week.
The United States has pledged to bolster the defenses of NATO's eastern members following Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and the Kremlin's fomenting and supporting a pro-Russian armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine.