The F-22A Raptors transiting Hickam AFB, Hawaii, on their return to Langley AFB, Va., from deployment to Okinawa caused a few Honolulu residents to complain that the fighters were too loud, reports the Honolulu Advertiser. The Raptors took off around 3 a.m., using full afterburners because they carried external fuel tanks. A Hickam spokeswoman told the Advertiser, the new fighters took off over the ocean not over land but that low cloud conditions and the full thrust takeoff might have acerbated the noise level. Just last month, the Air Force opened for public comment the environmental assessment for the switchout of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s F-15s for F-22s. According to the Air Guard, they have worked a method to minimize the extra noise factor.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.