First F-22 slated for Pacific rolls out

  • Published
Lockheed Martin rolled out the first combat-capable F-22 Raptor Oct. 16 destined for basing and operations in the Pacific Rim.

Raptor 5087 completed its final assembly, with Air Force leaders from Alaska and Lockheed Martin employees on hand to mark the event outside the production line in Marietta.

"Today's F-22 roll out marks another significant milestone for the F-22 program," said Nick Cessario, vice president and F-22 program deputy general manager.  "The Raptor industrial team is proud to continue to produce this revolutionary 5th generation stealth fighter for the United States Air Force."

Speaking before Lockheed Martin F-22 production employees, Brig. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, commander of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, said, "Great Americans wear all kinds of clothes. Some wear military uniforms, some wear suits and ties, while others wear blue jeans and t-shirts while they build the F-22. You are all great Americans and I thank you."

The F-22 Raptor is currently assigned to four bases across the United States.  Testing is conducted at Edwards AFB, Calif.  Tactics development is ongoing at Nellis AFB, Nev.  A full squadron of Raptors is based at Tyndall AFB, Fla., for pilot and maintainer training.  Operational F-22s at the 1st Fighter Wing are assigned to two squadrons at Langley AFB, Va.

Future F-22 bases identified by Air Force officials include Elmendorf AFB; Holloman AFB, N.M.; and Hickam AFB, Hawaii. 

Raptors from Langley deployed to Alaska in June for joint exercise Northern Edge. The F-22's performance was declared exceptional by Air Force officials who touted the ability of pilots and maintainers to fly a 97-percent sortie rate; successfully drop and hit 26 of 26 ground targets; and amass an air-to-air kill ratio of 140-0 during the first week of the exercise.

(Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)