F-22 Raptors have flown in the majority of Operation Inherent Resolve strike missions in Syria, due to their force-multiplying effect on the capability of legacy aircraft, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said. “When you have F-22s in a package, every single airplane in that package is better because the F-22s are there,” he said during a panel discussion at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando on Thursday. “We’re putting Raptors into every package, whenever we can, and it is most of the time,” Carlisle added. In addition to the F-22’s ability to go into airspace denied to other aircraft, its capacity to escort, manage, retask, and provide dynamic targeting information “has even exceeded our expectations—the airplane has performed fantastically” against ISIS, he said. The F-22 saw its comba?t debut last September, leading a strike sortie against ISIS targets in Syria.
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.