Walk into JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and you might encounter F-22s featuring TY tail code. Seven of those jets relocated from Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) are now fully integrated at the base.
Noteworthy thanks to the full integration of the F-22s it absorbed from Tyndall, Elmendorf is able to increase its mission capable rates.
Col. Robert Davis, commander of the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf, said six are flying with one in depot maintenance. When they first arrived, some of the jets were damaged during Hurricane Michael that struck Tyndall in July.
The Category 5 storm in fact damaged some of the Raptors, to the point that some were barely flyable when they arrived.
The aircraft are all “up and ready” and flying as if they were original Elmendorf tails — though some still sport the TY tail flash for Tyndall.
As reported by Air Force Magazine, When the aircraft arrived at Elmendorf, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) was pushing to meet former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s directive to reach a mission capability rate of 80 percent. Even though the service F-22 fleet as a whole had a mission capable rate below the 80 percent goal, because Elmendorf has “overall the best maintenance organization,” maintainers were able to have the base fleet surpass the 80 percent mark.
The USAF revamped its F-22 force structure following the storm, sending F-22s from Tyndall to Elmendorf; JB Langley-Eustis, Va.; and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Tyndall is slated to receive F-35s to replace the Raptors.
“We have recommended that the best path forward to increase readiness and use money wisely is to consolidate the operational F-22s formerly at Tyndall in Alaska, Hawaii and Virginia, and make the decision now to put the next three squadrons of F-35s beyond those for which we have already made decisions at Tyndall,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson last December.
Photo credit: A1C Caitlin Russel / U.S. Air Force
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