July 22, 2009 (by SSgt. Jennifer Redente) - Two F-22 Raptors from the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron returned to Anderson AFB on July 15 from Japan following training with F-15 Eagles at Kadena Air Base, Japan.
The 525th EFS, deployed here from Elmendorf as part of U.S. Pacific Command's Theater Security Packages in the Asia-Pacific region, was able to demonstrate the Raptor's ability to forward deploy to another location and practice defensive counter air tactics with the F-15s from the 44th Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB.
"Basically we used air assets to protect an area," said Capt. Robert Ice, 525th EFS F-22 pilot and assistant chief of mobility. "Our tasking was to protect the 'homeland' from simulated adversaries. They came to our location, but we prevented them from getting by us."
Ice said he was glad to be able to participate in the exercise with the F-15s.
"This type of training is a great opportunity to get together and learn about both of the airframes' capabilities," he said. "Training is limited, but it's a great experience to be able to show up and operate smoothly in an unfamiliar location."
The F-22 pilot said that while both aircraft are exceptional, putting the two together allows the aircraft to carry out missions more effectively.
"When we fight with F-22s and F-15s, as a team, we are more lethal," said the captain. Capt. Jeff Haney, 525th EFS F-22 pilot and assistant chief of weapons, said he enjoyed the opportunity to conduct dissimilar flying as well.
"This was like a normal training sortie, but with different jets," Haney said. "It was a great way to obtain realistic training with other organizations."
As the flight lead for the training, the captain said he was able to gain some experience by planning the mission.
"I definitely gained a lot from a mission planning perspective," Haney said. "I think planning the mission in another airspace was a good experience. I was able to talk with pilots from other bases and get their perspective on training."
Haney said those who were involved all gained a better knowledge of the F-22 and F-15.
"I think being able to fly dissimilar training with different squadrons and aircraft provided the pilots a lot of experience from the training scenario," he said. "Each jet has different capabilities, and we are able to gain knowledge and experience from the scenario."
While the two 525th EFS Raptors were in Japan, the 94th EFS, deployed to Kadena AB from Langley Air Force Base, Va., hosted and supported the 525th EFS aircraft and personnel.
In addition to the 525th EFS being able to train with the 44th FS
, two 94th EFS pilots were given the chance to train with the 525th EFS.
Both F-22 squadrons are deployed as part of the PACOM commander's Theater Security Packages in order to provide security and stability to the Asia-Pacific Region.