Birds of Prey Welcome

Adm. Robert Willard, US Pacific Command boss, told Senate lawmakers last week that he’s “very pleased” that F-22s are already based in Alaska and will soon be calling Hickam AFB, Hawaii, home, too. “We look forward to those assets,” he said of the squadron of F-22s destined for the Air National Guard at Hickam during his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee March 26. He characterized the F-22 as “a very unique capability that is particularly well-suited to some of the potential contingencies” in the PACOM our area of responsibility and for “contributing to extended deterrence throughout the Pacific.” Developments in the region like China’s investments in fourth generation fighters and sophisticated integrated air defense systems “are illustrative of why the F-22 is particularly well suited to the Pacific,” he said.