F-22s Call on Wake Island

Two F-22s based out of JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, supported by a KC-135 tanker, last month deployed on short notice to Wake Island for four days. The deployment confirmed that Wake Island—some 2,300 miles west of Hawaii—is a viable divert location for Hickam’s aircraft in the event of a hurricane or tsunami warning or in scenarios requiring the presence of combat aircraft, states Hickam’s June 28 release. “This was a very successful deployment for our Raptors, exercising our Total Force resilience and readiness here in the Pacific,” said Lt. Col. Mark Ladtkow, commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron. “It demonstrated that, if necessary, with little advance notice, we can rapidly deploy to Wake Island, which has the necessary infrastructure in place to support our aircraft and operations,” he said. A contingent of 29 Hickam airmen accompanied the F-22s, which arrived on Wake Island on June 21 and returned to Hawaii on June 24, according to the release.