Creative and pragmatic brains have been at work at JB Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Officers of the based 3rd Wing have come up with a concept that involves quick deployment of four F-22 Raptors to any forward location and having the fighters ready for duty at the new location, and all of that within 24 hours. The concept is called Rapid Raptor Package.
Rapid Raptor Package involves deploying four F-22s of the Elmendorf based 90th fighter squadron and 525th fighter squadron, with the support of one C-17A of 517th airlift squadron, also based at Elmendorf. The C-17 carries supporting materials, munitions and maintainers. The concept has already been tested several times during excercises.
The concept has a footprint that is considerably smaller than traditional Raptor deployments that tend to be larger in size. The smaller footprint leads to more speed and flexibility, which in turn generate the maximum capability out of the existing force structure, according to a US Air Force official.
Rapid Raptor Package expands the aperture of potential F-22 operations and the jet’s usefulness as a strategic asset, the same official points out.
Kadena airbase in Japan and Andersen airbase at Guam in the Pacific have seen larger deployments of F-22 Raptors in the past.
© 2013 AIRheads’ Elmer van Hest