HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii, July 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force added Hawaii to the home base list for Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.
Two aircraft were welcomed at Hickam Air Force Base late last week, the company said. Eventually 20 Raptors will operate from the base.
"We at Lockheed Martin are proud to celebrate with the Hawaii Air National Guard and Hickam Air Force Base as the base becomes the newest operational home for the F-22," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager of the F-22 Program for Lockheed Martin. "We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Hawaii (Air National Guard) and the base in keeping the Raptor flying and further enhancing its capabilities over time, to ensure Hickam F-22s promote deterrence and stability through air power in the Pacific for decades to come."
Pilots from the 199th Fighter Squadron, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard, and from the active-duty 19th Fighter Squadron, 15th Wing, will fly the F-22s.
The aircraft's other permanent operational bases are Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; and Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.
Flight testing takes place at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; operational tactics development is ongoing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.; and pilot training occurs at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.