Good to Go Raptors

The head of Air Combat Command said Tuesday that he sees no reason not to declare the first F/A-22 Raptor squadron ready for initial operational capability in December as planned. Speaking at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in Washington, D.C., Gen. Ronald Keys said: “The test is, can you do something with them? And, I will have enough on hand that I could send a dozen overseas for some meaningful period of time.” The squadron at Langley AFB, Va., has eight fighters and gets roughly two more each week. By December, Keys said, the unit should have 18, with the appropriate number of fully trained pilots. Keys maintains there’s no need to wait for the completion of the follow-on test and evaluation, which started during the summer, to declare IOC.