The Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron and the active duty Air Force's 19th Fighter Squadron have achieved Initial Operational Capability status.
The IOC announcement Friday comes at the end of a three day long exercise that clearly demonstrates the units' ability to fly and maintain the world's most advanced fighter aircraft for any contingency operation.
"This is a huge milestone for our combined 154th and 15th Wings. IOC means we are able to deploy a portion of our F-22 Raptors, anytime, anywhere, in support of theater operations. Our F-22 Raptors underscore the U.S. commitment to the Pacific region and adds additional air dominance capability to U.S. Pacific Command", said Brig. Gen. Braden Sakai, 154th Wing commander. "Having this capability in Hawaii gives the U.S. Pacific Command the ability to respond rapidly to any contingency, anywhere in the theater in minimal time."
The F-22A Raptor is capable of both air-to-air, as well as air-to-ground precision strike and is the Air Force's primary air superiority fighter providing unmatched capabilities for air supremacy and homeland defense.
The fifth-generation F-22 Raptor has unparalleled stealthiness, supercruise, unmatched maneuverability and improved sustainability that would enable the aircraft to strike deep and fast, day or night, paving the way for friendly air, ground and naval forces to operate freely; gather and distribute intelligence across the battlefield; and even engage incoming missiles.
Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam is home to a total of 20 F-22 Raptors. The Hawaii Air National Guard and the active duty air Force share responsibility for flying and maintaining the F-22s.