Officials prepare for F-22 arrival

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Deborah VanNierop
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
As Pacific Air Forces prepares to bring the F-22 to the command next year the Headquarters PACAF F-22 Program Integration Office here is working hard to ensure no detail is overlooked. 

The job is not a small task as the PIO staff is responsible for guiding, coordinating and synchronizing the PACAF-wide F-22 beddown efforts with Air Staff, Air Force Reserve Command, the National Guard Bureau, Air Combat Command, Air Force Material Command, the manufacturer and PACAF leadership. The staff, which consists of four officers, doesn't underestimate the magnitude of their task. 

"We serve as the central Office of Primary Responsibility for all F-22 issues in PACAF," explained Lt. Col. Robert J. Craven, Chief, F-22 Program Integration Office. 

Prior to the creation of the F-22 PIO, numerous PACAF teams were addressing their respective roles in the F-22 beddown effort; however, PACAF commander General Paul V. Hester felt a "consolidation of effort" was necessary. 

"Bringing the F-22 to PACAF in Alaska and Hawaii is a huge undertaking. It's vital that our efforts are not wasted in redundancy and that we ensure we don't miss anything while planning to beddown these incredible new aircraft," the general said. 

The F-22 PIO was chartered in April following a decision by General Hester. The team was formed and the staff opened its office for business the next day. 

Additionally, the composition of the staff is a reflection of the same Total Force Integration (TFI) that will exist in PACAF's F-22 squadrons. Two of the officers are active duty, one is a reservist and the other a guardsman. Three of the officers are F-15 pilots and one is an F-16 pilot. 

"This reflects the pool from which most F-22 pilots are drawn. The vast range of active duty, reserve and guard fighter experience and operational expertise these pilots bring to this TFI team is truly greater than the sum of its parts. They are ideally equipped to tackle the tough challenges associated with getting PACAF's F-22s in place," Lt. Col. Craven said. 

However, the PIO staff is quick to point out that they could not function without the direct support of more than 30 subject matter experts from every functional area in the command. 

"These experts work the difficult details within their respective functional areas while we guide, coordinate and synchronize their numerous individual efforts," Col. Craven explained. "Together, the F-22 PIO and our army of experts form a cross-functional 'dream team,' and we're determined to make the beddown of the F-22 in PACAF a tremendous success."