The U.S. Air Force (USAF) deployed F-22 Raptors assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to conduct missions in the Western Pacific.
By working alongside allied and joint partner air forces, WestPac aims to integrate 4th and 5th generation fighters, and provide an opportunity to build experience and competence in dynamic force employment processes and concepts.
Airmen from the 1st FW, 192d Wing, and 633d Air Base Wing came together as a total force team to execute this tasking despite the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak. During the global pandemic, flying operations at Langley never ceased, thereby ensuring the combat readiness of America’s most capable F-22 wing in the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s a unique time for the 1st FW and our mission partners, as we train and deploy together in support of DoD taskings. We continue to prioritize the health of our Airmen, their families, and our local community as we work to maintain combat readiness,” said Col. David Lopez, 1st FW commander. “When our nation calls, the 1st FW has demonstrates its ability time and time again to deploy F-22 Raptors globally in support [of] America and our allies.”
The deployed 94th FS Airmen and F-22 Raptors will directly support ongoing operations to provide the U.S. Armed Forces an opportunity to demonstrate seamless, joint combat capabilities to deter adversaries and reassure allies and partners within the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility, a priority theater for the DoD.
“We have unbelievably talented and skilled Airmen in our force here in the Pacific who are capable of accomplishing the mission, even in the harshest and complex environments,” said Maj Preston Kahikina, Westpac planner. “I have full confidence that WestPac will be a success because our Airmen that are always ready, diverse, innovative and lethal.”
WestPac will also contend with the threat of COVID-19 to readiness. This global challenge requires a strong network of alliances and partnerships to combat the virus. The focus is to protect service members and their families, as well as allies and partner nations, to prevent the spread of the virus to local residents and ensure our combined warfighting readiness in order to accomplish assigned missions.
U.S. military forces routinely operate and train from and in the vicinity of Guam, Tinian, Saipan, as well as the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The 94th FS Raptors and Airmen are no different and remain ready for any challenge.
“Our Airmen are prepared to deter aggression and defend shared interests alongside America’s allies and partners anywhere in the world,” Lopez proclaimed.