Hawaiian Raptors, Marine F-35s mark first integration

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Detachment 211, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is displayed during a media day at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, July 21. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Aaron S. Patterson

Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz

154th Wing Public Affairs

While stealth technology on fifth-generation fighter aircraft make it “uncommon” to see on radar, it’s common to see a fifth-generation F-22 Raptor take off and land at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).

What is uncommon to see, however, is the pairing of the Raptor with the latest aircraft to join the fifth-generation ranks, the F-35 Lightning II, joint strike fighter (JSF).

For a brief period in late July, the two advance fighters could be seen together as the Hawaiian Raptors took to the skies with F-35s assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211.

“This training was significant as it marked the first integration with the Marine version of the F-35,” said a pilot with the Hawaiian Raptors. “We previously integrated with F-35s at Hill Air Force Base at home and on the road, but this marked the first integration with ship-based F-35s.”

The JSFs stopped at JBPHH for training with the Hawaiian Raptors on their way to a regularly scheduled deployment with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

While in Hawaii the stealth fighters practiced fighter integration.

“The training was extremely successful,” a Hawaiian Raptor pilot said. “We flew fifth-gen fighter integration sorties outnumbered against a higher-tier threat and all mission objectives were met.”

With the Hawaiian Raptors being a total force integration unit comprised of the Hawaii Air National Guard 199th Fighter Squadron and the active-duty 19th Fighter Squadron, integration was already part of the culture. This latest training took integration another step forward.

“The integration between two fifth-generation platforms was outstanding, and contributed significantly to our readiness training for any future conflicts,” said a Hawaiian Raptors pilot.

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Category: News