Raptors in Alaska:

It was a big day at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, when the Pacific Air Forces base received the first of its F-22A Raptors. Ultimately the base will have 40 of the new stealth fighters, which the active duty 3rd Wing will own but will share operating and maintaining duties with Air Force Reserve Command’s 477th Fighter Group. It’s a Total Force arrangement the Air Force calls “classic associate.” At an arrival ceremony Aug. 8, PACAF boss Gen. Paul Hester, extolled the new fighter, saying it provides USAF airmen “with the most lopsided and unfair advantages ever seen in the air power age.” And, being on top is the name of the game. On hand for the arrival, Lockheed Martin F-22 general manager Larry Lawson told the crowd that the F-22 would be “overwhelmingly effective … worldwide for the next 40 years.” To get ready for Raptor operations, Elmendorf airmen have been training with the Air Force’s first Raptor units at Langley AFB, Va.