First Operational F-22 Unit Builds Force

There are 18 F-22As now on duty with the 27th Fighter Squadron, and the unit will have three more by next week. ACC head Gen. Ronald Keys says the unit will reach full squadron strength of 24 airplanes in March, after which ACC will begin equipping the 94th Fighter Squadron with the new stealth fighter. Keys expects the 94th to reach full strength by October 2006. Currently, Lockheed Martin delivers about two to three new Raptors every month. Keys says that rate should continue for the next year or so, then Air Force and company officials will determine a new schedule to sustain the production line through 2010.