Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii- More than 200 members of the Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) and the active duty Air Force as well as an undisclosed number of F-22 Raptors, based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam have deployed to the Central Command Area of Responsibility (CENTCOM AOR).
The F-22 fighter aircraft and most of the Airmen departed from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Sept. 26. For security reasons, this deployment is being announced only after the F-22 Raptors and Airmen arrived at the CENTCOM AOR base they will operate from for the next six months.
Because of security considerations and host nation sensitivities, the HIANG will not release the base nor country where the Raptors are operating from, nor will the HIANG release the number of F-22 fighters that are deployed.
The Hawaiian Raptors are flown by pilots from the HIANG’s 199th Fighters Squadron and the active duty’s 19th Fighter Squadron. Maintenance and other support personnel are from the HIANG’s 154th Wing and the active duty’s 15th Wing. This is the first operational deployment for the Hawaiian Raptors.
In 2010, the 199th Fighter Squadron converted to the F-22 from the F-15 Eagle and began flying the Raptors in partnership with the 19th Fighter Squadron. This is the first combat deployment for the 199th Fighter Squadron since it deployed to Saudi Arabia in 2000 to patrol the southern no-fly zone of Iraq. The 19th Fighter Squadron last deployed to Southwest Asia in 1992.
The CENTCOM AOR encompasses the area of Southwest Asia and most of the Middle East.
While some of the Hawaiian Raptors are deployed, the HIANG will continue to perform its 24 hour a day/365 days per year air defense mission, as some of the F-22s have remained in Hawaii.
All of the HIANG Airmen who deployed are part of the 154th Wing, the largest Air National Guard wing in the nation. The Hawaii Air National Guard is comprised of nearly 2,500 Airmen whose federal mission is to be trained and available for active duty operational missions.