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F-22 Raptors begin training in Japan

An F-22 Raptor prepares to be refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker Jan 15. US Air Force photo

TOKYO (BNS): The US F-22 Raptors have started flight operations from Japan’s Kadena Air Base as part of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.

The only fourth generation fighter jet was deployed by the US as part of its policy to enhance security in the Pacific. The squadron will have 12 F-22 which have moved from
Langley Air Force Base to Kadena.

The F-22s will take part in combat training with F-15 Eagle team which is already based at Kadena.

“The F-22s are here to demonstrate our commitment to Japan and to the Pacific region with our unique capabilities,” Lt. Col. Lance Pilch, the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander was quoted as saying by agencies. “With the best team of operators and maintainers in the world, we are trained to meet any challenge,” Col. Pilch said.

He also claimed that F-22 will provide asymmetric advantages over other aircraft through a combination of stealth, precision, super cruise and manoeuverability. It is a modern aircraft and the only fourth generation fighter in operation anywhere in the world.

Other countries are still trying to develop a fourth generation fighter which would have a stealth feature. The Russians have developed this type of aircraft which is ready for flight trials later this year.

“During our training at Kadena Air Base, the Raptor will demonstrate its capabilities and pass that situational awareness to other fighters,” the Colonel was quoted as saying. “We can all learn from each other, combine our strengths and become a more effective joint fighting force,” he said.

Another pilot, Captain Randy St. John was quoted as saying that the Raptor can kick down the door, sweep out all enemy aircraft and get out without being detected by the enemy.

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