JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va., Oct. 10, 2018 —
U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 1st Fighter Wing
and the 192nd Fighter Wing returned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, from a
deployment to the Middle East on Oct. 9, 2018.
During the 6-month deployment, the Airmen and U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors delivered air superiority during combat operations, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve and the fight against enemy forces in Iraq and Syria.
The 94th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron protected coalition ground forces operating within Syria by flying Defensive Counter Air missions against enemy air-to-ground capable fighter aircraft. The squadron also flew Offensive Counter Air missions deep into Syrian territory, facing both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems, as the United States and Coalition forces launched deliberate attacks in response to the Syrian regime's illegal use of chemical weapons. On several occasions, the Raptors provided armed over watch for U.S. Navy aircraft as they transited through the Straits of Hormuz.
The 94th EFS flew more combat sorties and hours on a per aircraft basis than any deployed F-22 squadron ever. All told, the squadron logged over 590 sorties and more than 4,600 flight hours, dropping 4,250 pounds of ordnance and deterring 587 enemy aircraft. The squadron also accomplished the first-ever F-22 Raptor combat surge, which maximized combat sorties over a 3-day period.
On their way home, the 94th EFS aircraft were diverted to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, where they will remain for a short-term deployment within the U.S. European Command area of operations. Personnel from the 27th Fighter Squadron and 27th Aircraft Maintenance Unit met the aircraft in England and, as part of the “Raptor Redeploy” mission, will accomplish local European training and engagements with NATO allies and partners.