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)
Former British prime minister and now foreign minister David Cameron urged the U.S. Congress not to stop supporting Ukraine, saying the West has gotten a bargain in dramatically reducing Russia’s military power for a fraction of the U.S. defense budget.