F-22A Raptor to Bring Air Superiority to Northern Edge 2006

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii -- The Air Force’s newest frontline fighter, the F-22A Raptor, will make its Pacific-region debut as they participate in Exercise Northern Edge 2006 in June.

Twelve F-22As from the First Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., along with U.S. military units stationed in the continental United States and the Pacific Theater will participate in this joint training exercise. It is hosted by U.S. Alaskan Command scheduled for June 5-16 on and above central Alaska ranges and the Gulf of Alaska.

“The Raptor is the key to defeating deadly next-generation threats to today’s aircraft and can strike deep and fast, day or night, paving the way for friendly air, land, and sea forces to operate at will without interference from an opposing air force,” said Col. Russ Handy, 1st Fighter Wing Vice Commander. “With its combination of stealth, supercruise speed, advanced avionics, air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, the F-22A’s survivability and striking power make it uniquely capable of countering advanced threats from day one of any conflict.”

The F-22A, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.

Northern Edge is the largest military training exercise scheduled in Alaska this year, with approximately 5,000 U.S. active duty and reserve component military members participating.

“Northern Edge is designed to prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Asia Pacific region,” said Col. John Marselus, Chief, Joint Exercise Division Alaskan Command. “The exercise is intended to sharpen skills, to practice operations, techniques, and procedures, to improve command, control and communication relationships, and to develop interoperable plans and programs.”

While this may be the first appearance of the F-22A in Alaskan skies, it’s also a precursor of things to come. The Air Force has selected Elmendorf as the home for the next operational F-22A wing. The base is preparing for the arrival of 36 Raptors with the first jet expected to arrive in fall 2007.

Major participating units in NE06 include Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, U.S. Army Alaska, Marine Forces Pacific, Special Operations Command Pacific, and U.S. Pacific Fleet.

For more information, contact the Alaskan Command Public Affairs office at (907) 552-2341.