July 24, 2007

Virginia Air Guard flies into the future with F-22

 

The F-22 Raptor is replacing the F-16 Fighting Eagle. More than 20 Virginia Air National Guard pilots are now trained to fly the Air Force’s newest jet fighter. (Photo courtesy of Virginia Air National Guard)

 

From Staff Sources

SANDSTON, Va. – The 192nd Fighter Wing celebrated a major milestone on June 20 with a special aerial event marking the wing’s last training mission in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Members of the Virginia National Guard, distinguished guests and representatives from Lockheed Martin were among those on hand at the Virginia Air National Guard Facility in Sandston to say goodbye to an aircraft the wing had flown since 1991.

As the first Air National Guard unit in the country to start flying the F-22A, the U.S. Air Force’s newest stealth fighter aircraft, the wing is forging ahead to meet the nation’s and the Commonwealth’s evolving needs, resulting in the bold and

exciting move to begin conducting associated operations with the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

With more than 20 192nd Fighter Wing pilots now trained to fly the F-22 and a growing number of the wing’s fulltime and traditional status Guardsmen working at Langley Air Force Base, the wing will be changing the face of the Virginia Air National Guard.

“After 16 years of flying the F-16, which included training missions, combat in Iraq, and combat air patrols over Washington D.C, we have three new, exciting opportunities at Langley Air Force Base,” said Col. Jay Pearsall, commander of the 192nd. “The 192nd will associate with the active duty’s 1st Fighter Wing F-22 Raptor mission, the 480th Intelligence Wing’s Distributed Ground Station Imagery Analysis mission, and the Combat Air Force Logistic Support Center.”

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