Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Whilst everyone watched the F-22s arriving in Germany, U.S. Predator drones deployed to Latvia

“This is not a one-time operating zone. We created an airspace arrangement that is enduring, so when we need to go back, it will be available.”

Whilst the majority of aviation enthusiasts and media watched four F-22s deploy to Europe for the first time, another quite interesting and significant deployment took place in a Baltic State.

In fact, according to the U.S. Air Force, two MQ-1 Predator drones and approximately 70 Airmen deployed to Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia beginning on Aug. 24 for a temporary deployment that will continue through mid-September.

The deployment aims to test the ability of 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard based in Ellington Field in Houston, Texas to forward deploy, and to conduct air operations with the RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) “while [as usual] assuring NATO allies of our commitment to regional security and stability.”

As for the F-22s, that deployed in accordance with the Rapid Raptor Package concept, the deployment had to prove the unit’s ability to prepare, deploy, setup shop, fly and exercise all of the agreements, arrangements and relationships required to make this happen: key words are responsive and flexible operations.

“It validates basing and airspace arrangements, operations and host-nation agreements in a very real way,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Recker from the operations directorate at U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Headquarters in a release.

“This will test mobility, maintenance and logisticians arranging airlift,” he said. “Personnel have to make decisions about bandwidth, satellite communication, frequency allocation and frequency clearing.”

Interestingly, “This is not a one-time operating zone. We created an airspace arrangement that is enduring, so when we need to go back, it will be available,” said Recker.

During the deployment, Predators will not be involved in intelligence gathering missions, but will test ability to collect and share intelligence with other NATO allies.

But plans are to do something more, like Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) training: MQ-1 drones will collect intelligence that will be distributed to NATO JTACs so that they will be able to call in airstrikes of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack planes.

So, the military build-up in Europe continues with F-22s and MQ-1s performing brief deployments to test and validate their ability to reach the Old Continent in timely fashion, and to lay the foundations of longer presence of stealth jets and drones around eastern European nations threatened by Russia.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

This Infographic provides at least one interesting detail about the F-22 Raptor Mission in Europe

Some facts about the inaugural Raptor deployment in Europe.

The U.S. Air Force has released an infographic with a collection of information about the F-22 Raptor at its first training deployment in Europe.

Even though it is quite simple, the image provides some useful information about the Rapid Raptor Package concept used to deploy the 5th Generation jet in any theater across the world in 24 hours: in particular, it states that a standard package is made of 4 F-22s, 1 C-17 and 60 supporting airmen. Not too much for the most advanced U.S. fighter plane currently in service.

Two of the four F-22s belonging to 95th FS are currently in Poland, for some training with the Polish Air Force and prove they can operate from former Warsaw Pact countries and airbases as well.

More base visits across eastern Europe are expected until the aircraft return to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, in mid September.

If you read us from a mobile device, please click here to open the infographic.

F-22 infographic

 

Here are the first pictures of the U.S. F-22s deploying to Poland for the very first time

Two Raptors have deployed to Lask, along with four F-16s and one C-130.

Two of the four F-22 Raptor jets belonging to 95th Fighter Squadron from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, currently deployed to Spangdahlem airbase, in Germany, have landed at Łask airbase, in Poland, at 08.30 local time (06,30 UTC).

In this post you can find some shots taken by Filip Modrzejewski, chief editor of the Foto Poork portal.

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The forward presence of the Raptors in Poland is aimed at reassuring allies in Europe and bolstering regional security proving the 5th Gen. stealth jet’s ability to quickly deploy to the European theater: the F-22s returned to Spangdahlem to continue their deployment later on the same day.

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Along with the F-22s, four F-16s from the 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, taking part in bilateral training with the Polish Air Force (during which they will be joined by additional F-16s from the 176th Fighter Squadron, Wisconsin Air National Guard, in early September) deployed to Lask.

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Photo Credit: Filip Modrzejewski – Foto Poork

 

U.S. F-22 Raptor stealth jets currently in Germany to move to Poland on Monday

It looks like the F-22s may move to Poland. Soon.

According to the Polish Media outlet Głos Wielkopolski, the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor fighters belonging to the 95th Fighter Squadron, from Tyndall Air Force Base, that arrived at Spangdahlem airbase on Aug. 28, will be deployed to Poland next Monday Aug. 31.

The U.S. jets are going to be involved in joint training with the Polish F-16 fighters and information published by Głos Wielkopolski suggests that the Raptors are going to be stationed at the Polish 32 AB in Łask (a news confirmed by the base spokesman according to Scramble).

The arrival of the four F-22s marks the beginning of the inaugural Rapid Raptor package deployment in Europe: the type has often taken part in rotational deployments in the Asia-Pacific region since 2009, to show the presence of Washington’s 5th generation stealth jet around the disputed islands in the South China Sea, while some are also taking parting in the air war against ISIS.

Some analysts speculate the Raptors were not deployed in Europe earlier because of the risk of close encounters with Russian ELINT jets above the Baltics and the resulting disclosure of some sensitive information pertaining the Raptor, a risk the stealth jet face all around the world, actually.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

Stunning photos of the F-22s departing at night from Tyndall AFB for their first deployment in Europe

“Tabor 11” taking off at night for the F-22A inaugural deployment to Europe.

We have already posted some cool pictures of the F-22s arriving in Germany on Aug. 28. Here are some stunning photographs of the 95th Fighter Squadron Raptors taking off from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Six aircraft departed Tyndall for Spangdahlem: the four Raptors that eventually landed in Germany along with two air spares.

A 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor accelerates as it takes off of the Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flightline. Four 95th FS Raptors flew to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allied air forces and U.S. services through mid-September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)

A 95th Fighter Squadron F-22 Raptor accelerates as it takes off of the Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flightline. Four 95th FS Raptors flew to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allied air forces and U.S. services through mid-September. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)