Death-Defying Deployment

The F/A-22s of the 27th Fighter Squadron are back home at Langley AFB, Va., after a two-week exercise flying out of Hill AFB, Utah. It was the first deployment for operational Raptors. One of the unit’s last phases of training was flown against simulated SAM sites at the Nellis Air Force Base range in Nevada, where pilots drilled on the new stealth fighter’s advanced offensive stealth abilities. The obstacle-style training format was new to many of the Raptor pilots, and some who had trained in that kind of environment before expressed amazement at the fighter’s capabilities. “In any other aircraft, if I were going to try and do what I did today, I’d be dead,” said Maj. Chuck Corcoran, the 27th FS assistant director of operations.