Hawaii-based F-22s land at MCAS Iwakuni to support DFE concept

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, landed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni March 12.

The operation includes Airmen from the 199th Fighter Squadron and the 19th Fighter squadron, a mixture of both active-duty and Air National Guard Airmen. The arrival signals the continuing effort to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s dynamic force employment concept, which supports the National Defense Strategy effort to conduct training with allies while maintaining global peace and security.

“This operation demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific through the flexibility of our forces,” said Maj. Gen. Lansing Pilch, Pacific Air Forces Air and Cyberspace Operations director, “We’re focused on being ready for a high-end fight under any conditions. This operation gives our Airmen an opportunity to train with the Marines and their 5th generation aircraft, as well as potential opportunities to integrate and fly with allies in the region.”

PACAF fighter operations gives the command opportunities to develop a lethal, agile and resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific region by maintaining capabilities for major combat while providing options for proactive and scalable employment of the joint force.

“The presence of the U.S. Air Force’s F-22s here at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni provides a gainful opportunity for our F-35B pilots to practice joint integration between these two state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Richard Behrmann, Marine Aircraft Group 12 Operations Officer. “Regular training and integration with joint service, partner and allied forces is one of the many ways that we maintain a high level of readiness and ensure that we can provide valuable contributions to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

The movement of the Raptors allowed planners and Airmen to practice Agile Combat Employment concepts to conduct the operation with the Marines and execute DFE concepts.

“I think this is a great example of showing how we can be strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick J. Chapman, Pacific Air Forces, Air and Cyberspace Operations branch chief of operations force management. “This event was a great learning opportunity for our Hawaii-based Raptors to execute and validate some agile combat employment concepts under the ACE model.”

The Department of Defense uses the DFE concept to change the way the joint force operates by focusing on strategic predictability and operational unpredictability. PACAF aligns its airpower capabilities to remain ready to support a global strategic environment that demands flexibility and freedom of action.

“We can operate in a place and time of our choosing with our fifth generation forces in support of our commitments to our allies and partners,” Chapman said.