Pacific Air Forces chief Gen. Paul Hester on a visit to Yokota AB, Japan, told reporters that the F-22 Raptor will arrive at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska in August and the number of C-17 airlifters in the region will grow to 16 when eight new airlifters beddown in Alaska in June 2007, joining the eight already calling Hawaii home, reports Stars and Stripes. It was a message intended to show the growing emphasis placed on the Pacific region. In talking with airmen at Yokota, Hester was on point with other key Air Force messages, including the fact that the service’s high operations tempo likely would continue and that the service’s force-shaping effort—cutting some 40,000 personnel over three years—is offset by modernization plans because new systems require fewer bodies.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.