Surprise, Raptors!

F-22s from JB Pearl-Harbor, Hickam, Hawaii, and a C-17 loaded with everything needed to support the jets recently flew a rapid-deployment demonstration to Andersen AFB, Guam. “The ability to launch F-22s to a nontraditional location with a complement of additional pilots, embedded maintenance, as well as fuel and munitions, allows for unprecedented flexibility,” said Lt. Col. David Eaglin, Pacific Air Forces operations and power projection boss, in a release. This “Rapid Raptor” iteration was the fourth in series of trials aimed at refining the ability to deploy a small force in three days and immediately begin flying operations. “This concept embodies the fundamental tenets of air power: speed, flexibility, and surprise,” said Eaglin. “Rapid Raptor, once operationalized … will provide us a much greater capability to swiftly respond in support of security and stability in the region,” he added. PACAF flew a Rapid Raptor between its bases in Alaska back in April.