The Air Force's The F-22 Conducted Its First-Ever ‘Combat Surge’. Here's Why That Matters.

October 12, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Middle East Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: F-22T-50RussiaS-300MilitaryTechnology

The Air Force's The F-22 Conducted Its First-Ever ‘Combat Surge’. Here's Why That Matters.

While the Pentagon didn’t specify when the three-day surge occurred, the DoD stated that the squadron faced “both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems” as part of the U.S. response to the Syrian regime’s illegal use of chemical weapons back earlier this year.

Airmen assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron completed the first-ever F-22 Raptor “combat surge” over the last six months in skies above Syria, the Department of Defense  announced on Wednesday, conducting an aggressive number of combat sorties over a single three-day period.

- The squadron, deployed to the Middle East from Joint Base Langely-Eustis in Virginia to provide air support for U.S.-led coalition forces fighting ISIS in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, conducted 590 sorties, dropping 4,250 pounds of ordnance, and “deterring” 587 enemy aircraft during the six-month deployment.

- While the Pentagon didn’t specify when the three-day surge occurred, the DoD stated that the squadron faced “both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems” as part of the U.S. response to the Syrian regime’s illegal use of chemical weapons back earlier this year.

- The F-22 seems perfectly suited to deliver relative air superiority in a battle space where U.S. and foreign aircraft are increasingly  entangled in regular intercepts . Indeed, the first  air-to-air kill  in nearly two decades involved a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 that earned itself a missile after messing with coalition ground forces, albeit thanks to a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet rather than an F-22.

- Things will only get dicier in the coming months. Russia’s Ministry of Defense recently  announced its T-50 fifth-generation fighter jet that saw testing in Syria in February was on schedule to make a comeback tour. This comes just weeks after Russia  announced the transfer of the S-300 missile defense system to the Syrian regime following the  shootdown of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean.

 

This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter .

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