July 12, 2010 (by TSgt. Cohen A. Young) - Top military and local community leaders gathered July 9 for a dedication service for the F-22 Raptor.
USAF F-22A block 20 no. 03-4045 taxing on the flight line at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii on July 2nd, 2010. The 199th FS of the HIANG is transitioning from the F-15 and will serve as the only ANG led joint Guard and Active Duty squadron in the Pacific and the second in the USAF. [USAF photo by SSgt. Mike Meares]
Hundreds of onlookers gathered with members of the 199th Fighter Squadron, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard and people from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to welcome the F-22, a fifth generation fighter, which replaces the F-15 Eagle that the squadron has flown since 1987. The 199th FS
is the first guard unit to receive the F-22.
"The 199th (FS members prove) that National Guard forces are capable of maintaining a strategic presence with its active duty association and providing a great value to our nation and the state of Hawaii," said Gen. Craig R. McKinley, the chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The F-22, a single-seat, twin engine aircraft that utilizes stealth technology, was originally designed primarily as an air superiority fighter.
"These F-22 Raptors are the state of the art air superiority fighter and couldn't be located at a better place," General McKinley said.
Many of the guard members will serve as the lead in a "total force" concept that is already in use at JB Hickam. The 199th FS, 15th Air Wing will fly and help maintain the F-22s that bring a new capability to the HIANG, as well as the Air Force.
"The Air Force is a seamless total force. Along with our Air Force Reserve and civilians, the National Guard and our active duty component form a very severe fighting force that can get the job done," General McKinley said.