According to a Nov. 9 announcement from the Hawaii National Guard, the F-22 Raptor force comprising the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron and Active Duty 19th FS at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam achieved initial operational capability last week. A Hickam photo release notes that the Hawaii-based Raptors are expected to reach full operational capability in December. Brig. Gen. Braden Sakai, commander of the Hawaii ANG’s 154th Wing, said, “This is a huge milestone for our combined 154th and 15th Wings. IOC means we are able to deploy a portion of our F-22 Raptors, anytime, anywhere, in support of theater operations.”
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.