Wednesday, May 22, 2024

US Air Force deploys F-22 Raptors to Japan

The U.S. Air Force has initiated the deployment of F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

The Air Force said in a release that the arrival of F-22s, operated by the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons, underscores the United States’ commitment to ensuring stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

At Kadena Air Base, the 19th and 199th Fighter Squadrons will collaborate with existing heavy, reconnaissance, and fourth-generation fighter aircraft, along with other fifth-generation fighter assets stationed at the base. This coordinated effort aims to maintain a robust and continuous fighter presence, bolstering deterrence capabilities and enhancing operational flexibility in the dynamic theater of the Indo-Pacific.

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The deployment of F-22 Raptors comes as the 18th Wing oversees the phased return of Kadena’s fleet of F-15C/D Eagles. Despite this transition, the Department of Defense remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding a steady-state fighter presence in the region. Temporary deployments of aircraft serve as a strategic measure to ensure continued deterrence and responsiveness to evolving security challenges.

Okinawa, often referred to as the “Keystone of the Pacific,” holds strategic significance due to its central location relative to major Far East cities. Situated approximately 900 miles from Tokyo, Manila, Seoul, and Hong Kong, and 1,200 miles west of Guam, the island serves as a critical hub for military operations in the region. With its extensive network of air bases and naval facilities, Okinawa plays a pivotal role in maintaining regional stability and safeguarding vital maritime and aerial routes.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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