Air Force Deploys Raptors to Japan

Stability promotion, Air Force style:

Twelve F-22s belonging to the 525th Fighter Squadron from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, have arrived at Yokota airbase, in western Tokyo, on Jan. 20.

The dozen Raptor stealth fighters will soon be joined by 14 F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron, based at Eielson AFB, Alaska, and will be involved in a previously scheduled joint training in Japan.

Although it’s still not clear whether the aircraft belong to an Air Force Theater Security Package (TSP), their presence in the region will also “promote” stability amid growing tensions in the Asia-Pacific theater following North Korea’s nuclear test on Jan. 6 and the election of a pro-independence president in Taiwan.

F-22s often deploy to Japan since the USAF has started rotating fighters to Pacific Command bases in March 2004 “to maintain a prudent deterrent against threats to regional security and stability.”


That’s a nice way of saying, “Don’t put anything up in the air you don’t mind having shot down.”

The mere presence of F-22 Raptors sends a powerful message — such a shame President Obama and the old Democratic Congress capped production at so few of them.


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