The 19th Fighter Squadron has returned to its World War II home, standing up at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, to help fly F-22s there as part of the 15th Wing. The squadron had been operating F-15s at JB Elmendorf, Alaska, since 1994,. “The 19th FS was stationed here after World War I all the way up through [the Pearl Harbor attack] up until 1944. In my opinion, the ‘Gamecocks’ have returned home,” said Lt. Col. Harvey Newton, 19th FS commander, at the Oct. 4 realignment ceremony. The unit joins the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th FS that owns the 20 new F-22s coming to the Hawaiian base. The 19th FS is the first and only F-22 active duty associative unit. “The 19th Fighter Squadron adds the ‘punch-factor’ to our capabilities,” said Col. Jeffrey Morgan, 15th Operations Group commander. (Pearl Harbor-Hickam report by SSgt. Nathan Allen)
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.