According to reports F-22A Raptors belonging to the 199th Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 154th Wing of the Hawaiian Air National Guard have been deployed to the Middle East yesterday. This comes as tensions are hot between the U.S. and Russia over Syria and as the F-22 seems to be in demand around the globe.
Deployments of F-22s to the Middle East are nothing new. The stealth fighters, at least about a half dozen of them, have had a seemingly constant presence there for the last half decade or so. Based out of Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE,forward deployed Raptors were called into action during the opening airstrikes against ISIS and Al-Nusra targets in Syria last year. They are said to have had sporadic presence over the embattled country ever since.
It is not clear if the 199th Fighter Squadron’s deployment has been long planned as a replacement for F-22s already in the region, or if it will be to bolster the force. It would make great sense that additional Raptors would have been ordered to the theater considering Russia’s rapid buildup of air power in Syria over the last month. CONTINUE