October 11, 2012 (by A1C Brooke P. Beers) - For more than two months, the 27th Fighter Squadron from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., has been deployed to Kadena Air Base, training alongside Kadena's F-15 Eagles from the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons.
USAF F-22A block 35 no. 09-4189 from the 27th FS based sits on the flight line at Kadena AB on October 4th, 2012. The F-22 deployment to Kadena is in support of the U.S. Pacific Commandís security obligations in the Western Pacific. [USAF photo by A1C. Malia Jenkins]
"We loved the opportunity to work with the F-15s," said Lt. Col. Cavan Craddock. "It's valid training that we wouldn't get at home."
Although the F-15 Eagle and F-22 Raptor fighter jets have the same type of weapons and play similar roles, the Raptor uses stealth technology to clear enemy airspace other aircraft.
F-22 Raptors, which are capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, are a critical component to the Air Force's arsenal. The aircraft combines stealth, precision, super cruise and maneuverability to gain advantage over other aircraft.
"We're here as part of the Pacific theater command's security obligation," said Craddock, 27th Fighter Squadron commander.
Under the direction of the 18th Wing, the 27th FS
has integrated its operations alongside Kadena's two F-15 Eagle squadrons as well as the KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry units here.
"The F-22 Raptor deployment was important for signifying our continued commitment to regional partners," said Col. Pete Milohnic, 18th Operations Group commander. "It sends a clear message that the U.S. is serious about maintaining security and stability in the region and it provided our Airmen outstanding fourth and fifth generation fighter integration training. The deployment has been a complete success."