An expeditionary contingent of F-22s, pilots, and maintainers from JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, set a record for a Raptor unit deployed to Kadena AB, Japan, by completing 30 sorties in one day. “The fact that we could pull off such a feat is a big deal because no other single [F-22] fighter squadron has ever done it [at Kadena],” said Capt. Devin Hartman, officer in charge of Elmendorf’s 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Kadena officials stated that it was “an achievement unreached by other [F-22] squadrons in the Air Force so far.” The 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed to Kadena in January for about three months. During their time there, the Elmendorf airmen trained with elements of Kadena’s 18th Wing, such as its F-15s and E-3 AWACS platforms, as well as Marine aviation on Okinawa. (Kadena report by A1C Maeson L. Elleman)
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.