F-22 deployment to Europe underway: 4 Raptors currently heading to Germany

An F-22 Raptor, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., flies off the wing of a KC-135 Stratotanker while participating in Sentry Savannah 15-1, Feb. 13, 2015. Sentry Savannah 15-1 provides traditional Airmen wartime readiness training in an unfamiliar environment in an economical, accelerated timeframe. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka/Released)

Tyndall F-22s expected at Spangdahlem airbase, Germany, later today.

Four F-22A Raptor stealth jets will arrive at Spangdahlem airbase later today, to start the deployment in Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The aircraft, belonging to 325th Fighter Wing, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and using radio callsign “Tabor 11” are accompained by two air spares and supported by several tankers along the way according to the information posted by some very well informed users on Scramble forum.

As happened to the first A-10 Theater Security Package in May, Spangdahlem is going to be the first stop for the U.S. Raptors that are expected to visit other eastern Europe airbases.

Newsworthy, the deployment comes just few days after it was announced by Air Force Secretary Deborah James, a sign that a small package of 4 F-22s can be deployed across the world quite quickly: as already explained, in 2013 the U.S. Air Force conceived a new rapid deployment concept (dubbed “Rapid Raptor Package“) to deploy a package of F-22s (accompanied by a C-17) and supporting logistics to any forward operating base and have the stealth fighter jet ready for combat operations within 24 hours of deploying with a small logistics footprint.

Actually, this is not the very first deployment of Raptors in Europe: four Raptors deployed to support the F-22 appearance at Farnborough and RIAT airshows (more or less like the F-35s were expected to do last year before they were grounded and forced to cancel) in July 2010. So it was a sort of airshow deployment that involved four 3rd Wing F-22s at RAF Lakenheath for a couple of weeks.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.