An F-22 Raptor shoots out a flare during an air combat training mission Jan. 15. The F-22 is deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., in support of U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster)
January16, 2009 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- F-22 Raptors took to the sky over Japan Jan. 14 as members of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron began flight operations with Kadena Air Base officials.
More than 200 Airmen and 12 F-22s from Langley Air Force Base, Va., are operating out of Kadena AB to demonstrate the continued U.S. commitment to fulfill its security responsibilities throughout the Western Pacific.
F-22 pilots will spend the next several months conducting air combat training alongside Kadena AB F-15 Eagle pilots, and will work to integrate with all of the aircraft assigned to the 18th Wing here, as well as other U.S. military services.
Members of the 27th FS will support the Pacific combatant commanders' objectives and support both joint coalition and bilateral operations.
An F-22 Raptor prepares to be refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker Jan. 15. The F-22 is deployed to Kadena Air Base, Japan, from Langley Air Force Base, Va., in support of U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Clay Lancaster)"The F-22s are here to demonstrate our commitment to Japan and to the Pacific region with our unique capabilities," said Lt. Col. Lance Pilch, the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander. "With the best team of operators and maintainers in the world, we are trained to meet any challenge."
The F-22 provides asymmetric advantages over other aircraft through a combination of stealth, precision, super cruise, and maneuverability. This air superiority fighter also has integrated avionics that give it a level of situational awareness never before seen in a fighter aircraft, Colonel Pilch said.
This advanced technology benefits the pilot, other aircraft operators and warfighters on the ground.
An F-22 Raptor taxies down the ramp for a mission Jan. 14 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-22 is deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., in support of U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway)
"During our training (at Kadena AB), the Raptor will demonstrate its capabilities and pass that situational awareness to other fighters," the colonel said. "We can all learn from each other, combine our strengths and become a more effective joint fighting force."
The F-15 and F-22 perform similar roles and employ the same type of weapons. However, the F-22 is able to use its stealth capability to penetrate enemy airspace and clear it for follow-on aircraft.
The F-22 can "kick down the door, sweep out all enemy aircraft and get out without being detected by the enemy," said Capt. Randy St. John, an F-22 pilot with the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
An F-22 Raptor takes off for a mission Jan. 14 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The F-22 is deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., in support of U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Amanda Grabiec)
Captain St. John said the F-22 deployment to Kadena AB demonstrates the United States commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
"It's an important region both for the U.S. and all of its allies, and we like to maintain a presence in the area," Captain St. John said. (Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon/AFNS)
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