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Fifth-Gen Fighter Integration Furthered by Hawaiian Raptors and Marine F35s

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM --

While stealth technology on Fifth Generation fighter aircraft make it “uncommon” to see on radar, it’s common to see a Fifth-Gen F-22 Raptor take off and land here.  What is uncommon to see however, is the pairing of the Raptor with the latest aircraft to join the Fifth-Gen 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 Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam 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.