Military Aviation

12 U.S. AIR FORCE F-22 RAPTORS DEPLOY TO AUSTRALIA FOR THE LARGEST AND LONGEST ROTATION OF FITH-GENERATION AIRCRAFT IN THE COUNTRY TO DATE

“This F-22 Raptor deployment represents a key milestone for U.S. and Australian Airmen as together we build a robust fifth generation fighter presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific”

According to the article F-22 Raptors to deploy to RAAF Base Tindal as part of Enhanced Air Cooperation Initiative written by Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs, Pacific Air Forces will deploy 12 United States Air Force (USAF) F-22 Raptor stealth fighters belonging to 3rd Wing from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska, to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Tindal to conduct combined exercises and training missions with the Royal Australian Air Forces as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation Initiative under the Force Posture Agreement between the United States and Australia.

Taken on Feb. 11, 2017, the interesting photos in this post show the first group of Raptors arriving at RAAF Base Tindal greeted by Northern Territory monsoonal rains.

The rotation of the aircraft is designed to modernize and strengthen the countries already firm mil-to-mil relationship, facilitate interoperability, exercise combined capabilities and increase regional engagement.

While at RAAF Base Tindal, the F-22 detachment, alongside their RAAF counterparts, will provide credible forces able to support a wide range of exercises or training activities. Through this initiative and the continued enhancement of the RAAF facilities, Pacific Air Forces and the RAAF will build upon their individual and combined capabilities, advancing interoperability between the nations. This interoperability will extend to regional partners as the initiative progresses. The enhanced, combined operational capability and interoperability are integral to regional security, stability and combined readiness.

“This F-22 Raptor deployment represents a key milestone for U.S. and Australian Airmen as together we build a robust fifth generation fighter presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific,” said Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander. “Our steadfast relationship with Australia, deeply rooted in our common principles and shared values, stems from working together day in and day out across the full spectrum of operations and will continue to prosper as we further integrate our efforts through this initiative.”

This rotation of F-22 Raptors to RAAF Base Tindal marks the initial fifth generation asset deployment of this duration and scope within Australia, and will be the first time the F-22 has conducted combined training to this extent in the country. While there, they will conduct integrated training opportunities with Royal Australian Air Force’s 75 Squadron F/A-18A/B Hornets along with ground assets and personnel. This activity will vastly enhance RAAF and USAF fourth to fifth generation integration, while introducing fifth generation operations and requirements to RAAF Base Tindal.

“Australia is a critical partner in the F-35 program and playing a key role in helping PACAF lead fifth generation aircraft integration into the region,” said O’Shaughnessy.

“We greatly value the enduring relationship with our Australian allies across the globe from the Indo-Asia-Pacific to the Middle East. Through deployments like these, we can better leverage the increased survivability, lethality and situational awareness that the F-22 and F-35, along with our fourth generation fighters, bring to this theater to ensure allied air superiority for years to come.”

Photo credit: Royal Australian Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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