More F-22s Arrive in Desert

Four F-22s arrived at their new home of Holloman AFB, N.M., last week, bringing the total number of Raptors there to six. Base officials said in a release that three of the F-22s arrived from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska on Dec. 15. A Holloman spokesman confirmed to the Daily Report yesterday that the fourth aircraft—originating from Hill AFB, Utah—arrived later in the week. “The arrival of these aircraft is another important step towards our operational readiness,” said Col. Jeff Harrigian, commander of Holloman’s 49th Fighter Wing. The wing’s 7th Fighter Squadron and 8th FS will each get 20 F-22s. The 7th FS, first to get its full complement of F-22s, is expected to be declared ready for combat by Nov. 1, 2009. Holloman’s first two F-22s arrived in June. Earlier this month A1C Terri Cowan and SrA. Jay Tarango Jr., the first two Reservists that will support the 49th FW in the operation and maintenance of the F-22s, joined Air Force Reserve Command’s 301st Fighter Wing, Det. 1 at Holloman. Elements of the Reserve wing, which is based at NAS JRB Fort Worth-Carswell Field, Tex., are transferring to Holloman, as is AFRC’s 301st Fighter Squadron, currently based at Luke AFB, Ariz. Together these Reservists will operate under the 44th Fighter Group, which is expected to stand up next year, as part of a classic association with the active duty 49th FW, the Holloman spokesman said. Until the fighter group is established, the Reservists of the 301st FW that are already at Holloman will be known as Det. 1, he said. The members of the 301st FS are expected to arrive later, once the 44th FG is up and running, he noted. (Includes Holloman report by A1C Veronica Salgado)