U.S. F-16 fighter jets land at Polish base: media

WARSAW Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:26pm EDT

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WARSAW (Reuters) - U.S. F-16 fighter jets landed at central Poland's Lask air base on Thursday to take part in military exercises seen as Washington's gesture of support for its eastern NATO allies after Russia's intervention in Ukraine, local media reported.

At least 12 F-16 planes and 300 personnel were due to take part in the drills, beefed up at Warsaw's request after Russian forces seized control of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Both the Polish Defence Ministry and the press officer at Lask declined to comment on the reports of the arrivals.

Earlier this week, the United States and Poland began wargames in Lask, with the U.S. saying both the air drills and joint naval exercises in the Black Sea were planned before the crisis in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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