It's A Whole New Bird...
The first operational F/A-22 Raptor
was delivered to the Air Force’s F/A-22 schoolhouse at
Tyndall AFB, Sept. 26. Tyndall, once known as “The Home of
Air Superiority” became “The Home of Air
Dominance,” with the arrival of its first F/A-22. The Raptor
will eventually replace the F-15 Eagle and sets the foundation for
the next generation of combat-fighter pilots.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of the 43rd Fighter
Squadron here, flew “Raptor 18” from the Lockheed
Martin Corp. assembly plant in Marietta, Ga., to Tyndall.
Harrigian’s squadron will train future F/A-22 pilots.
“This is truly a historic event for Tyndall and the U.S.
Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Larry New, 325th Fighter Wing
commander. “We’re very excited down here -- both the
people here at Tyndall and our local community partners -- about
standing up the Air Force’s very first operational F/A-22
squadron, bringing in the next chapter of Air Force history in air
dominance and serving our nation.”
“This is a great honor for me personally,” Harrigian
said. “I never thought I’d have the chance. This is a
huge day, not just for the 43rd and the 325th, but for the entire
Air Force and Bay County. I think we’re all really proud to
have the airplane here.”
Harrigian thanked the entire Raptor team -- base members,
contractors and the community. “I know it’s been years
and years of effort. From the bottom of my heart, I really do
appreciate it,” he said. “We’ll do it right here,
and just as General New said, ‘this is just the
beginning.’ Air dominance will be our job and we look forward
to doing that.”
The F/A-22, the Air Force’s premiere fighter, is a
multi-role aircraft, designed to perform both air-to-air and
air-to-ground combat missions. The Raptor elevates U.S.
technological advantages and updates ‘70s technology using
stealth, integrated avionics, maneuverability and supercruise (the
capability to reach and maintain supersonic speeds without using
fuel-expensive afterburners). These characteristics will provide
the warfighter air dominance in any battlespace, according to
The F/A-22 is a critical component of the Global Strike Task
Force designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great
distances, to counter and defeat threats that will attempt to deny
access to our forces. The F/A-22 cannot be matched by any known or
projected adversary fighter aircraft.
The 325th FW, which trains F-15 pilots, air-battle managers,
intelligence officers and air traffic controllers, was officially
selected as the site for the F/A-22 pilot training program in
Tyndall is expected to receive 50 Raptors over the next two
years. [ANN Thanks Tech. Sgt. Dan Neely, 325th Fighter Wing Public