Saturday, September 26, 2020

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors returns after historic deployment to the Middle East

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the  1st Fighter Wing returns after a historic deployment to Qatar. During their deployment, F-22 Raptors participated in the operation to defend American forces and interests in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility in the Middle East.

The Joint Base Langley-Eustis reported in July 2019 that in a deployment, Airmen and F-22 Raptors have been sent to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar for the first time.

Posted on the Scramble Magazine Facebook page, the images show that six F-22A Raptors touched down at Morón Air Base (Spain) on 1 February. The aircraft, all 1st Fighter Wing from Langley AFB (VA), returned after a deployment in the Middle East.

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Also, the Dutch aviation publication reported that the six aircraft which landed at Morón Air Base yesterday, arrived from Al Dhafra (United Arab Emirates). The Raptors were accompanied by two KC-10A Extender tanker aircraft.

Arriving as Trend 31-36, the following Raptors arrived in order of landing:
09-4173, 08-4163, 04-4082 (as 149th FS flagship), 08-4165, 09-4174 and 04-4067

This deployment was a total force effort consisting of Airmen from the 1st Fighter Wing and 192nd Wing, with the support of the 633rd Air Base Wing, who trained and deployed alongside one another, providing a ready force for the United States Air Force.

“I am incredibly proud of the 1st Fighter Wing over the last four weeks. Our nation called and we responded to a short-notice deployment sending F-22’s to Qatar for the first time in history,” said Col. David Lopez, 1st Fighter Wing commander. “It was a herculean effort by our Airmen and families working tirelessly behind the scenes. There was heavy lifting across the board from our Low Observable team and maintainers loading tanks, from airfield operations coordinating airspace to our pilots planning flight routes through locations we hadn’t been before. It was truly a team effort across the installation with significant support from the 633rd Air Base Wing as we all worked around the clock to get our aircraft and Airmen out the door on a condensed timeline.”

The Raptor is a fifth-generation aircraft designed to project war-winning airpower, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s military.

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Executive Editor

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