Air Force F-22s assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron from Tyndall AFB, Fla., sit on the flightline after landing at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, on Dec. 17, 2018. Air Force photo by A1C Caitlin Russell.
JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, has fully integrated the F-22s its absorbed from Tyndall AFB, Fla., and been able to increase its mission capable rates even though some Raptors showed up damaged.
Col. Robert Davis, commander of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf, said the base received seven Raptors from Tyndall after Hurricane Michael struck the base last year. Six of the F-22s are flying at the Alaska base, with one in depot maintenance. The Category 5 storm damaged some of the Raptors, to the point that some were barely flyable when they arrived.
The aircraft are all “up and ready” and flying as if they were original Elmendorf tails — though some still sport the TY tail flash for Tyndall.
Air Force F-22s assigned to the 95th Fighter Squadron from Tyndall AFB, Fla., land at JB
Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, on Dec. 17, 2018. Video: SrA. Austin Johnson-Harper
When the aircraft arrived, the service was pushing to meet former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s directive to reach a mission capability rate of 80 percent. Because the base has “overall the best maintenance organization,” maintainers were able to have the Elmendorf fleet surpass the 80 percent mark, even as the broader F-22 fleet as a whole had a mission capable rate below the 80 percent goal.
The service revamped its F-22 force structure following the storm, sending F-22s from Tyndall to Elmendorf; JB Langley-Eustis, Va.; and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Tyndall is slated to receive F-35s to replace the Raptors.