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    F-22 Raptors Reinforce Pacific Presence with Agile Combat Employment Drills

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    Joint Base Andrews Air Show 2015
    Joint Base Andrews Air Show 2015

    In a testament to the evolving strategies of the United States Air Force, F-22 Raptors, alongside a fleet of diverse aircraft, have executed a rigorous exercise known as Agile Reaper across the expansive Indo-Pacific region.

    F-22 Raptor [Image 4 of 17]” by DVIDSHUB is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    From April 10-16, the 3rd Air Expeditionary Wing from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, spearheaded simulated combat situations under challenging conditions in a demonstration of the service’s growing emphasis on Agile Combat Employment (ACE).

    Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor’s” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    This training, designed to enhance the U.S. military’s strategic flexibility, comes in the wake of the F-22’s potent history as a stealthy, air dominance fighter that first took to the skies in 1990 and has since been pivotal in full-spectrum operations.

    ‘Thunderbirds’ and Lockheed Martin F-22 ‘Raptor’ Demonstration Team” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The latest show of readiness included 800 Airmen and 29 aircraft across five disparate locations: Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as the hub with Saipan, Tinian, the Japanese island of Iwo To, and Andersen’s Northwest Field serving as spokes.

    Lockheed Martin F-22 ‘Raptor’s’ at Hickam AFB, Hawaii” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The exercise put to test the concept of dispersing forces to operate from austere bases with scant resources. Lt. Col. Logan Sutton, 535th Airlift Squadron commander, articulated the objective: “The goal is to develop resilient warfighters who are confident in their ability to execute using mission-type orders, generate airlift sorties in a contested environment with limited resources, and grow together as a diverse team while gaining familiarity with other career fields.”

    Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    Moreover, the Raptors’ presence in the region underscores their integral role in the U.S. Air Force’s Indo/Asia-Pacific strategy.

    F-22 Raptor Pass” by clydeorama is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The Raptor, which recently upgraded its capabilities with Increment 3.2B software, including high-resolution ground mapping and advanced missile systems, is a cornerstone of the U.S. military’s commitment to maintaining air superiority in the region.

    Lockheed Martin F-22 ‘Raptor’” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The robust coordination of this year’s training and its classification as the Air Force Force Generation certification—per Col. Kevin Jamieson—serves to “test the limits of what a cohesive 3rd AEW is capable of in a combat-representative environment.”

    Lockheed Martin F-22 ‘Raptor’” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    On a parallel note, reinforcing the operational versatility of these warbirds, another significant milestone was achieved earlier on March 8-9.

    F-22 Raptor Whisper Pass” by w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The Total-Force weapons specialists from 154th and 15th Wings successfully rearmed F-22 Raptors at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, marking an enhancement in ACE capabilities.

    F-22 Raptor” by manhhai is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    This operation was an essential component of the larger Joint Base Readiness Exercise, showcasing the ability of Airmen to execute rapid deployment and armament under remote and austere conditions—a critical element in projecting combat power anywhere, anytime.

    F-22 Raptor creates its own cloud camouflage” by San Diego Shooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Staff Sgt. Steve Tanaleon reflected on the significance of this achievement: “This is a big deal for all of us. Especially for part-timers like myself, we do most of our training on the weekend. But this joint operation thrusted us into these positions of high responsibility and limited resources, proving that we can always get the job done.”

    An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, flies alongside an Italian marine F-35 Lightning II and an AV-8B II+ Harrier in support of NATO-led activity Neptune Shield 22.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    These exercises not only validate the F-22’s unwavering role as a linchpin of aerial combat but also underline the importance of readiness and adaptability in the face of potential geopolitical tensions in the Pacific region.

    F-22 Raptor 003” by AirmanMagazine is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    The Raptor’s extensive enhancements and operational milestones emphasize the U.S. Air Force’s proactive stance on ensuring sustained dominance in the skies, while simultaneously preparing for the next generation of air combat with the forthcoming NGAD fighter in the 2030s.

    F-22 Raptor 015” by AirmanMagazine is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    As the geopolitical chessboard of the Pacific commands attention, the prowess demonstrated by the F-22 and its Airmen during Agile Reaper and JBRE 23-1 exercises project an unequivocal message: the U.S. is refining its combat readiness, ensuring that it remains a formidable force ready to tackle emerging threats in this vast and strategic theatre.

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