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F-22 Raptor News

F/A-22 fleet now complete

May 4, 2005 (by Maj. Susan A. Romano) - The F/A-22 Raptor fleet at Tyndall AFB for the 43rd Fighter Squadron is now complete with the April 22 arrival of its 23rd airplane.

Tech. Sgt. Jeff Simpson guides Raptor number #01-4018 to its parking spot. Raptor 18 is the first operational F/A-22 Raptor delivered to the Air Force's F/A-22 schoolhouse here at Tyndall AFB, Florida. [USAF photo by Steve Wallace]

Brig. Gen. Jack Egginton, 325th Fighter Wing commander, flew the plane from the Lockheed Martin production plant in Marietta, Ga.

"It was an incredible thrill to get the keys to the Raptor that completes the inventory for the 43rd (Fighter Squadron)," General Egginton said.

During the past three years, pilots and maintainers built the Raptor training program based on the number of aircraft in the squadron. It was a slow process to train those fixing the aircraft and those flying the aircraft when there were only a few on the line, the general said.

With a complete inventory, it will be easier achieve the milestones established in the training syllabus, said Col. James Van Antwerp, 325th Maintenance Group commander. "It also allows us to fully maximize the flying schedule with all the required jets in our inventory."

Courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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