The United States Air Force is sending a couple dozen F-22 stealth fighters off to the western Pacific to annoy the heck out of Xi Jinping. The idea is to show the Chinese Communist Party that we can drop more of those fancy fighters in at practically a moment’s notice than they have in their entire arsenal.
A U.S. show of force
If you thought that the Pentagon was sending a lot more F-22 stealth fighters to Guam than usual for this year’s western Pacific exercise, you were right. The Air Force ordered “an unusually large deployment of the powerful jets that analysts say sends a strong message to a possible adversary in China.”
Pacific command officials confirm that “approximately 25 F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard and from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will deploy this month to Guam and Tinian islands for Operation Pacific Iron 2021.”
General Ken Wilsbach, the Pacific Air Forces commander proudly warns the commies we “have never had this many Raptors deployed together” in that area. It’s clearly meant to be a show of force in the region.
Described as “the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft,” the stealth combat jets are wired up tight with “on-board sensor systems” displaying data from “off-board information systems” which gives “pilots a detailed view of the battle space.” When you pair them up with F-35s they’re really wicked.
Carl Schuster, a Hawaii-based defense analyst, explains that sending such “a large number of F-22s for the exercise sends an immediate message to China at a time when relations are tense over Pacific flash-points like Taiwan and the South China Sea.” Normally they send half a dozen. A dozen at the most. Sending 25 or more is unheard of.
“The Pacific Air Force is demonstrating that it can deploy as many or more fifth-generation aircraft into the theater on short notice than (China) currently has in its entire inventory.”
It’s okay, we have more
Unless they have them stashed somewhere that our intelligence can’t find them, the Chinese air force “has about 20 to 24 operational fifth-generation fighters.” Schuster does note that “Beijing’s capabilities are improving at a rapid pace.”
Meanwhile here in America, we have “around 180 F-22s in its fleet, although only about half are mission capable at any one time due to maintenance requirements.” It’s significant when we send nearly a fourth of our mission ready jets on one mission.
Because F-22’s are invisible to radar, they’re the first ones into battle. The job of their pilots is to take out “an adversary’s air defenses.” Then they go do other, more secret things.
“The US is actively practicing the deployments it will make if there is a major crisis or war.” The Air Force doesn’t trust Beijing, no matter how cozy Imperial Leader Biden gets with the Chinese.
According to Peter Layton, analyst with the Griffith Asia Institute, the Pentagon “is taking China very seriously and is developing its force posture and training its forces to be able to quickly move into position.”
Along with the stealth fighters, Operation Pacific Iron will use “10 F-15 Strike Eagle fighters” from Mountain Home Air Base in Idaho and “two C-130J Hercules transport planes from Yokota Air Base in Japan.” They call the whole team working together “an Agile Combat Employment operation.” What that means is “a more lethal, adaptive, and resilient force.” Pooh Bear, aka Xi Jinping, is looking for his honey jar and a safe-space.