July 22, 2008 (by SSgt. Steve Teel) - In another display of America's obligation to fulfill security requirements in the Asia Pacific region, the US Air Force deployed F-22A Raptors from the 90th FS, also known as "Pair-O-Dice," this week.
USAF F-22A from the 90th FS lands at Andersen AFB, Guam, on July 20, 2008.
During their two-week deployment approximately 130 Airmen and five Raptors from the 3rd Wing, Elmendorf AFB
, Alaska, will participate in the Jungle Shield exercise and Cope Thaw training.
Exercise Jungle Shield will enhance the 13th Air Force's air defense mission in Guam and ensure its ability to fulfill Operation Noble Eagle responsibilities. F-22A Raptor pilots will also take part in Cope Thaw, providing them an opportunity to conduct routine training in an environment different from their home station, according to Air Force officials.
According to Capt. William Creeden, 90th FS
project officer, the "Pair-O-Dice" pilots will fly three primary missions here: defensive counter-air (DCA
); offensive counter-air (OCA
) - escort, and offensive counter-air - suppression of enemy air defenses.
He said the DCA missions showcase the F-22A's aerial combat capabilities, using the Raptor to defend a geographic point, area, or high value airborne asset against any air threat. When conducting OCA - escort missions, F-22As fly in front of a strike package and clear the airspace of any air threats, allowing a strike package an unimpeded attack on selected targets of interest.
While flying OCA - suppression of enemy air defenses missions, the Raptors become a strike platform, targeting advanced surface-to-air missile (SAMs) threats by utilizing the fighter' s key advantages of stealth, super cruise and advanced integrated avionics. Captain Creeden said the Raptor is able to penetrate enemy air defenses and strike a number of SAMs with extreme accuracy, while maintaining a high level of survivability.
The captain said the squadron's two-week deployment to Andersen will be full of activity. "We will be busy with our primary missions and the exercises," said Captain Creeden. "At the same time we'll be demonstrating that PACAF
's first F-22 squadron is ready and able to deploy while meeting Component Commanders' requests for air dominance in any area of responsibility."
He added that the 90th FS will be integrating with the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed here from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., to showcase composite force tactics.
"Our squadron looks forward to the training we will receive," said Capt. Thomas Borrego, 90th FS flight commander. "It is a privilege to represent the 90th FS 'Pair-O-Dice' as part of this deployment to one of our premier forward operating bases."
This particular deployment allows the U.S. to provide the new fourth-generation fighter, (as it's often referred to) its pilots and support personnel invaluable air defense and homeland protection experience, added 13th Air Force officials.
The U.S. Pacific Command and 13th AF are committed to routinely deploying forces in and out of the Western Pacific region to maintain a credible deterrent posture and presence in one of the world's most rapidly changing areas.