The recent F-22 deployment to Yokota AB, Japan, was part of a “previously scheduled training deployment,” not a reaction to recent activity by the North Korean regime, the Pentagon said Thursday. Eight F-22s deployed to Yokota on Jan. 20 for a drill lasting until Jan. 22, the Asahi Shimbun reported. Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the Raptors, which are deployed from JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, are at Yokota to “enhance our ability to fulfill our treaty obligations to defend Japan and promote stability throughout the region.” F-16s also are reportedly joining the Raptors on the deployment.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.