First Two-Ship F-22 Flight from Desert Base

The 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman AFB, N.M., launched its first two-ship training mission with its new F-22 stealth fighters Oct. 22. The mission was conducted in preparation for a large force employment exercise held the following day. Holloman is currently home to two F-22s, which arrived in June, and the 49th FW expects to have two full squadrons of 20 aircraft each ready for operations over the next several years. “This training mission allows the base as a whole to become one step closer to becoming operationally ready,” said Maj. Anthony Babcock, 49th Maintenance Operations Squadron commander. He continued, “We are doing a great job of flying aircraft and standing up the capability.” Although there are only two F-22s at the base, the wing has been able to fly an aggressive training schedule and the base’s F-22 maintainers are learning how to generate sorties in real-world scenarios, including maintaining its low-observable outer skin. The F-22 is replacing Holloman’s F-117s, which were retired in April. (Holloman report by A1C Michael Means)