More than 200 personnel and 12 F-22s from the active duty 27th Fighter Squadron and Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Fighter Wing departed Langley AFB, Va., earlier this week for Kadena AB, Japan. The Raptors are expected to spend about three months at Kadena as part of a normal Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotation as part of a theater security package for the Pacific region. While at Kadena, the F-22s will be available to the combatant commander in the Pacific, if needed in a crisis, and will otherwise participate in joint and coalition training exercises. This is the second time that F-22s from Langley have spent time at Kadena; the first stint took place in February 2007. The Air Force also plans to send a second set of Raptors—this one from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska—to Guam this month on a similar rotation. (Includes Langley report by TSgt. April Wickes)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.