Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii- More than 200 members of the Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) and the active duty Air Force returned with their F-22 Raptors to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following a six-month-long deployment to the Central Command Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM AOR). The F-22 fighter aircraft and most of the Airmen departed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in late September 2015. The Airmen and F-22 aircraft returned home in several groups over the past several days.
The Hawaiian Raptors are flown by pilots from the HIANG’s 199th Fighter Squadron and the active duty’s 19th Fighter Squadron. Maintenance and support personnel are from the HIANG’s 154th Wing and the active duty’s 15th Wing. This was the first operational deployment for the Hawaiian Raptors. While in the CENTCOM AOR the F-22 Raptors successfully struck a number of high-value ISIS (also known as Daesh or ISIL) targets. The Hawaiian Raptors were an integral part of Operation Inherent Resolve–an 18-nation air coalition that is driving Daesh back considerably in Iraq and Syria. Daesh has lost more than 40% of the populated areas it once controlled in northern Iraq and recently retreated from several key populations centers in Syria.
“Our people performed extremely well and they did it with the Aloha spirit. Maintenance did an outstanding job, and made all their taskings. We integrated well with the other coalition forces and conducted our operations flawlessly,” said one of the HIANG’s pilots.
Because of security considerations and host nation sensitivities, the HIANG will not release names of its personnel who deployed, and the country, or base where the Raptors operated. The HIANG will also not release the number of F-22 fighters that deployed. The CENTCOM AOR encompasses the area of Southwest Asia and most of the Middle East.
In 2010, the 199th Fighter Squadron converted to the F-22 from the F-15 Eagle and began flying the Raptors in partnership with the 19th Fighter Squadron.
All of the HIANG Airmen who deployed are part of the 154th Wing, the largest Air National Guard wing in the nation. The Hawaii Air National Guard is comprised of nearly 2,500 Airmen whose federal mission is to be trained and available for active duty operational missions.
For more information, please contact Lt. Col. Charles Anthony, State of Hawaii, Department of Defense Director of Public Affairs at the number below.
Video imagery of the Hawaiian Raptors team return can be accessed at the following link: http://dvidshub.net/r/yas7te
Lt. Col. Charles Anthony
Public Affairs Officer
CHARLES J. ANTHONY, Lt. Col. , HIANG
JF HQ Hawaii National Guard
Director, Public Affairs
(808) 733-4258 fax: X4236