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.
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.