Kadena Airmen ready for visiting Raptors

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kevin Nichols
  • Detachment 11, Air Force News Agency
As Kadena Air Base officials get ready to host 12 F-22 Raptors for the fighters' first overseas deployment, the base's most important focus right now is their readiness stance.

"That readiness gives us piece and stability in the region," said Brig. Gen. Harold W. Moulton, 18th Wing commander. "And frankly because the front lines of the global war on terrorism are now in the Central Command area of responsibility, we're able to protect that flank."

Kadena officials sent about 600 Airmen to Iraq and other U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility in January. Airmen continue to work on readiness as they ready their flight line for the dozen Raptors coming to the Pacific for training.

"We see here at Kadena the opportunity to integrate with our tankers, with our AWACS and with our F-15 (Eagles) to be able to leverage the new capabilities that the F-22 has," General Moulton said.

Training with all services on Okinawa also provides Airmen opportunities and the experience of working in a joint environment.

"On our ramp right now we have visiting F-18 (Hornets) and visiting Harriers," General Moulton said. "In addition to that, we have P-3 (Orions) from the Navy here. We have Marines who have a permanent station close by and the newest and most unique thing is we bedded down the 1st of the 1st Air Defense Artillery unit here. So we now have Patriots defending Kadena, and what's more important, we know that they're ready to go with us if we have to defend Kadena from ballistic missile or air threats."

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