Alaskan Raptors Debut New Ground-Attack Prowess in Training

For the first time in training, F-22s dropped joint direct attack munitions on targets using self-generated coordinates enabled by the aircraft’s new Increment 3.1 equipment and software upgrade. The aircraft, assigned to JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, “recently” demonstrated this new capability, said officials at the joint base on April 19. “The ability to drop weapons on self-generated coordinates is significant because it gives commanders the ability to task us against dynamic targets,” said Lt. Col. Robert Davis, 90th Fighter Squadron director of operations. “The F-22 now has significantly more lethality, flexibility, and survivability in an anti-access, area-denial scenario,” he added. During the week of training, the joint base’s F-22s dropped a total of 20 JDAMs—eight live and 12 inert—over the Joint Alaska Pacific Range Complex. Before Increment 3.1, Raptors pilots had to rely on outside sources to locate targets and generate the coordinates to attack them. Before these training drills, Increment 3.1 JDAM drops had only occurred during test missions, said joint base officials. (Elmendorf-Richardson report by Capt. Ashley Conner) (See also Smash and Dash Games.)