May 26, 2010 (by SrA DeAndre Curtiss) - The U.S. Air Force deployed 12 F-22A Raptors from Holloman to Kadena Air Base, Japan, May 24, 2010, for approximately four months.
USAF F-22 block 30 no. 05-4099 from the 7th FS prepares to take-off from Holloman AFB on May 24th, 2010. Members of Team Holloman and 12 Raptors deployed to Kadena AB. [USAF photo by SrA. Tiffany Trojca]
The F-22s were accompanied by approximately 250 Airmen from Holloman representing the 49th Maintenance Group, 49th Operations Group, 49th Mission Support Group and the 44th Fighter Group collectively.
The personnel and aircraft deployed are a part of the first major deployment of the F-22 from Holloman to the Pacific region.
"This is a tremendous milestone for the 49th Fighter Wing and members of Team Holloman," said Col. David Sullivan, 49th Fighter Wing vice commander. "This will mark the first time F-22s from Holloman have deployed to the Western Pacific to train in a forward location, while maintaining a credible deterrent posture and presence in the region."
Colonel Sullivan said the deployment is a prudent measure to maintain a credible deterrent posture and presence in the region. It is not in response to any specific situation in the region. The Department of Defense routinely evaluates readiness and regularly deploys U.S. forces to maintain a suitable presence in each region of the world.
Many of the organizations that make up Team Holloman played significant roles in the preparation and execution of the first major deployment of the F-22 Raptor. Personnel who deployed with the aircraft all have specific roles in making this mission a success.
One maintainer said he is excited about the new experience and the positive impact Team Holloman has the chance to make.
"I think everybody will get new experiences while helping those who are really in need of it, said Airman 1st Class Matthew Jose, 7th Fighter Squadron. "I take pride in my job, making sure the pilots are qualified so they can execute the mission."
The F-22A is a transformational combat aircraft that can avoid enemy detection, cruises at supersonic speeds, is highly manoeuvrable and provides the joint forces an unprecedented level of integrated situational awareness.
A deployment of this nature requires not only support from all members of Team Holloman, but from local community leaders and civilian counterparts.
"I want to let everyone in the Tularosa Basin know this deployment would not be possible if it were not for the remarkable support of the residents of Alamogordo and the surrounding areas. Your continued encouragement and support are reasons our Airmen are able to be successful in today's constantly changing threat environments," said Colonel Sullivan.
Team Holloman's last deployed to the Western Pacific was in 2007 when the 9th Fighter Squadron began a three-month deployment to the Republic of Korea with the F-117 Nighthawk.