F-22 Off to Pacific

Pacific Air Forces is eagerly awaiting the first overseas deployment of F-22A Raptors, issuing a brief news release to highlight the “early 2007” venture. According to PACAF, the Raptor unit will head to Kadena AB, Japan, on the island of Okinawa as part of US Pacific Command’s Theater Security Package in the Western Pacific. Air Combat Command declared the F-22 ready for combat in December 2005, and the new stealthy fighter has participated in numerous wargames since. PACAF will be getting its own Raptors, at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and Hickam AFB, Hawaii, but that is at least a year away for Elmendorf. Meanwhile Alaska airmen now are training at Langley AFB, Va., with the first F-22 squadron.