JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii—The Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Fighter Squadron currently has 14 of its anticipated 20 F-22 Raptors on the ramp here. But much work remains before the unit will be fully mission-capable, Guard officials told the Daily Report in a recent interview. “The last six [F-22s] are apparently in depot and on the way,” but their exact arrival dates are yet to be determined, said one official. The squadron’s first Raptors arrived in summer 2010. About $144 million worth of military construction projects are on the books right now to accommodate the F-22s, they said. The main hangar is being replaced, and the base is getting a new squadron operations building and maintenance structures that are slated for completion by July 2013, they said. The 199th FS will operate and maintain the F-22s together with the active duty 19th FS under an active association.
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.