July 23, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - The Honolulu Advertiser reports that Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii expects to recieve the first 2 of 20 F-22s in June of 2010.
Mark Dougherty, from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company demonstrates the F-22 Raptor flight simulator to Major James "Saw" Sage, a F-15 pilot with the 199th FS, Hawaii ANG on July 22, 2008. [USAF photo MSgt. Kristen Stanley]
Lt Col Christopher "Frenchy" Faurot head of the F-22 "beddown" program said he was looking forward to that date.
"It's nothing short of amazing, to tell you the truth," said Faurot, 42, in reference to the Raptor.
The F-22 costing $137.5 million each will replace the current F-15s used by the 199th Fighter Squadron and will become the only "associate" F-22 unit in the nation to be led by the Air National Guard (ANG
) or Air Force Reserve.
This week Lockheed brought a $1.5 million F-22 cockpit simulator to the headquarters of the Hawaii Air Guard for the crews to train on. Maj. Jim Sage did a couple of simulated rolls in the F-22 before chasing some Su-27 and MiG 29 fighters, firing heat-seeking missiles and a 20 mm gun.
Hawaii's 20 F-15A, B, C and D model, were grounded several times during November and December 2007 after a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C broke apart on November 2nd during flight.
The mission of the 199th is to provide air defence for the Islands of Hawaii, but the squadron has been deployed overseas to Saudi Arabia back in 2000 performing combat missions over Southern Iraq