An F-22 Raptor pilot from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, climbs out of the jet at Andersen AFB, Guam, on Jan. 18. Twelve of the $140 million-dollar aircraft deployed to Andersen. More than 250 Airmen already have arrived at the base to begin a three-month deployment as the Pacific's theater-security package. As part of the continuing force posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements, additional forces like the F-22 continue to deploy throughout the Western Pacific. This is the latest example of the flexibility U.S. forces have to meet their ongoing commitments and security obligations throughout the Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald)
January 19, 2009, ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Twelve F-22 Raptors deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, arrived here Jan. 18, for a three month deployment in support of Pacific Global Deterrence mission.
As part of the continuing force posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements, additional forces like the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron continue to deploy throughout the Western Pacific. More than 270 Airmen deployed with the unit.
"The F-22s from the PACAF base at Elmendorf, Alaska, bring a phenomenal and exceptionally versatile capability to Pacific Command," said Brig. Gen. Philip Ruhlman, 36th Wing commander. "This strategic deployment to Andersen shrinks the tyranny of distance across the Pacific by forward-basing an unmatched multi-role fifth-generation combat capability."
While deployed here, the Airmen of the 90th EFS will fly alongside those of the 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, in support of numerous exercises and missions, showcasing the U.S. commitment to security and stability throughout the Pacific.
"Having the F-22 here deters and dissuades potential adversaries and assures our regional partners and allies within the region," said General Ruhlman. "The F-22 Raptor represents a key element of the Air Force's contribution to joint military operations with unquestionable world class air dominance upon which all joint forces rely."
Being deployed to Andersen provides Airmen with the 90th EFS many unique opportunities.
F-22 Raptors deployed from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, prepare to land at Andersen AFB, Guam, Jan. 18, Twelve of the $140 million-dollar aircraft deployed to Andersen, and more than 250 Airmen already have arrived at the base to begin a three-month deployment as the Pacific's theater-security package. The stealth-fighters, along with associated maintenance and support personnel, are deployed as the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and will participate in various exercises that provide routine training in an environment different from their home station. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald)
"Many of our younger pilots don't get the opportunity to drop many live weapons during training in Alaska, and with the ranges and opportunities they have here at Andersen, many of them will get the valuable experience required to truly be air dominant," said Lt. Col. Orlando Sanchez, 90th EFS commander. "We will also get the chance to participate in many of the joint exercises, and get that experience to see how other services operate."
F-22s are the Air Forces newest and most advanced fighter, combining stealth, maneuverability, supercruise capability and superior avionics to provide the U.S. with unmatched air dominance.
"These aircraft take the air superiority of the F-15 (Eagle) to the next level, ensuring that the U.S. maintains air dominance," said Maj. Chad Newkirk, an Air Force Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 90th EFS.
One of the biggest challenges the aircraft face while deployed here is the climate, according to the squadron commander.
"These jets are still young, and it will be interesting to see how they react to the dramatic climate differences between Alaska and Guam." Colonel Sanchez said. "Our maintainers are the best, and they know what it takes to keep these birds in the air."
In addition to the Andersen deployment, Kadena Air Base, Japan, also received 12 F-22s deployed from Langley AFB, Va., as part of the continuing force posture adjustments to address worldwide requirements. (af.mil)
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