F-22A Raptors from Langley AFB, Va., have made the 3,200-mile trip to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, to take part in the exercise called Northern Edge. It was the first trip for the new stealth fighters outside the continental US. “This is the longest continuous trip we’ve flown in this bird, so that gives us a great start to this entire visit,” said Lt. Col. Wade Tolliver, commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley, the first operational Raptor unit. Elmendorf is slated to follow as the second operational home for a Raptor unit.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.