Raptors and Eagles fly together for Jacksonville training
By Tech. Sgt. Tom Kielbasa, FL Air National Guard
/ Published August 21, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Aug. 8, 2009) - This weekend, one the most advanced fighter jets in the world, the F-22 Raptor, is flying high in the skies just east of Jacksonville. -- Fighter pilots from the Florida Air National Guard are conducting joint training between F-22s from Tyndall Air Force Base's 325th Fighter Wing and F-15 Eagles from the Jacksonville-based 125th Fighter Wing.
The joint training exercise between the F-22s and the F-15s is a first for the 125th Fighter Wing. It helps familiarize pilots with the unique capabilities of both aircraft models, and practice how they might fly together in an actual combat situation.
"This is how we're going to go to war," explained F-22-pilot Maj. Nick Kavouras. "When we go to war we'll be flying together, so it's important that we learn how to do it here when we can debrief to our mistakes and it doesn't cost anybody's life."
The F-22 is the most advanced fifth-generation fighter jet in the world, and during the training the pilots integrate the fourth-generation F-15 Eagles with the Raptors to create one "composite force."
"The F-22 brings stealth which gives the capability to fight some pretty tough integrated air defense systems and it gives us the ability to operate in closer against some air threats that maybe the F-15 can't," Kavouras said.
Previous integration training of this type revealed that the combat effectiveness of the F-22 is actually increased when fourth-generation fighters like the F-15 are present, according to the 125th Fighter Wing.