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Hawaii F-22 Raptors participate in Red Flag
Col. John Roscoe, 15th Wing commander, along with Brig. Gen. Braden Sakai, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard, commander and his wife, welcome Tech. Sgt. Jay Nishimura, 154th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-22 avionics systems specialist, back from Red Flag 13-2 on Feb. 2, 2013. Nishimura, in addition to 151 other integrated active duty, HIANG and contracted personnel, contributed to the successful completion of the two-week long Red Flag exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of the Hawaiian Raptor’s first over-water deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Terri Barriere)
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Hawaiian F-22 Raptors successfully complete first Red Flag deployment

Posted 2/6/2013   Updated 2/6/2013 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Terri Barriere
15th Wing Public Affairs

2/6/2013 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- A total force team comprised of F-22 Raptors, active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard personnel successfully completed the Hawaiian Raptors first over-water deployment when they returned from Red Flag 13-2 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Feb. 2.

"To the Hawaiian Raptors, this Red Flag deployment had significant meaning," said Lt. Col. Mark Ladtkow, 199th Fighter Squadron commander. "This was the first full scale deployment from the State of Hawaii in the F-22 Raptor. It was a true testament to our total force initiative, as well as our maintenance, operations and support personnel."

Ladtkow said the mission substantiated the crew's ability to mobilize, generate and deploy eight F-22s with their associated equipment and personnel. The F-22s were employed in highly complex day and night operations in nearly all of their mission sets; and demonstrated the ability to redeploy and reconstitute within the allotted time and fiscal constraints.

Red Flag, the largest full-scale exercise that depicts wartime conditions, provided the perfect opportunity for the Hawaiian Raptors to validate their training programs, unit employment capability and overall combat capability.

"We have been working relentlessly over the past two years on our conversion from the F-15 to the F-22," Ladtkow said. "We have worked hard to make our TFI team one to be emulated throughout the Air Force."

In order to prepare for the two week long Red Flag exercise, Ladtkow said the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons worked continuously, both as individual entities and as a team. There were 40 active duty Airmen, 101 Air National Guard Airmen and 11 contractors that came together to make Red Flag 13-2 a success.

According to Ladtkow, the years of preparation and sending his folks to attend other exercises, while continuing to hone their skills in the Air Combat Simulator, paid off. The Hawaiian Raptors were the only unit at Red Flag 13-2 to not lose a single sortie to maintenance or support issues.

Ladtkow said this proves they are ready to deploy and fight when called upon.

Now officially past the "crawl, walk phase" of preparing the Hawaiian Raptors to be combat ready, the team plans to lean on lessons learned at Red Flag and training to take them into the next phase -- getting ready to deploy.

"The Hawaiian Raptors made a strong showing at Red Flag," Maj. Andrew Fessenden, 199th FS director of weapons, said. "It's quite an accomplishment to orchestrate each mission with more than 90 aircraft, over a dozen airframes and five different countries. While we had our fair share of learning points, there's some satisfaction in knowing that with those lessons learned, we are able to assemble a very formidable and lethal Joint Force product at the end of the day."

Having successfully completed Red Flag 13-2, the Hawaiian Raptors are on the fast track for real world deployments to the area of responsibility in the not-so-distant future.

Red Flag 13-2 superior performers:

Capt. Robert Ice, 19th Fighter Squadron
Capt. Marvin Wong, 199th Fighter Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Lopez, 154th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Tech Sgt. Mark Gorospe, 154th AMXS
Tech. Sgt. Scott Haitsuka, 154th AMXS
Tech. Sgt. Peter Gozontagalog, 154th MXS
Tech. Sgt. Scott Kamalii, 154th Maintenance Operations Flight
Tech. Sgt. Sonja Kahawaii, 154th Logistics Readiness Squadron
Staff Sgt. Greg Myers, 154th Maintenance Group
Staff Sgt. Logan Stelle, 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Senior Airman Sean Lum, 154th Wing
Staff Sgt. James Lee, 154th MXS
Senior Airman Edward Siaosi, 199th FS
Honorable Mention: Master Sgt. Carlos Diaz, 154th Operations Support Squadron

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