Final Raptor for Langley-Eustis

The 1st Fighter Wing at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., received its final F-22 Raptor, leaving only JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, that has yet to fill its full Raptor complement. Aircraft 4194 arrived at Langley-Eustis on April 27, completing the base’s F-22 force at 46 aircraft, said service officials. The Air Force is scheduled to take delivery of aircraft 4195, its final F-22, on May 2 at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Marietta, Ga., before its flight to Elmendorf-Richardson for beddown, according to the officials. The momentous deliveries come as uncertainties still loom regarding the fifth generation aircraft’s onboard oxygen supply. Air Force leaders maintain that the F-22 is safe to fly. Still, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters at Langley-Eustis on April 30 that a “very small” number of F-22 pilots have asked for reassignment until the problem is resolved. He did not provide any additional details, according to media reports. “Obviously, it’s a very sensitive thing because we are trying to ensure that the community fully understands all that we’re doing to try to get to a solution,” stated Hostage reported ABC News. (See also CBS Money Watch report)