Thursday, July 21, 2005

Raptors enter service

I took note of a couple of stories yesterday (thanks to the Greyhawks) that the first operational squadron of F/A-22 Raptor is now on-line and flying. The 27th Fighter Squadron based at Langley, VA was chosen for the role.

::::::::The 27th Fighter Squadron -- the Air Force’s oldest continuous fighter squadron -- will be the first unit to transition to the Raptor. It is a job the squadron knows well. The squadron was the first to switch to the F-15 Eagle, the Air Force’s premier fighter since the early 1970s.

Langley, located on the shore of the Back River just off Chesapeake Bay, is home to the 1st Fighter Wing. When base officials learned they would get the Raptor, they ordered the construction of maintenance and operations buildings to support the cutting-edge fighter jet.

The Raptor stands unmatched in the air superiority arena. She is faster and more maneuverable than any other fighter in the sky. Her systems provide the crucial first look/first shot capability that usually results in a kill being scored. The fact that she's a lot more stealthy than the F-15 Eagle she's slated to replace doesn't hurt. She's definitely not a cheap date, but her presence will allow the US and her allies to literally rule the skies over any battlefield and that's a critical need even today.