Seven U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to conduct operations in the western Pacific—the first of its kind since the days of Theater Security Packages.
The purpose of WestPac is to integrate 4th and 5th generation fighters with allied and joint partner air forces, giving all parties the opportunity to build experience and competence in dynamic force employment (DFE) processes and concepts.
“Conducting operations at this level, given the COVID environment, is crucial to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Maj. Gen. Lansing Pilch, Pacific Air Force’s Air and Cyberspace Operations Director. “We continually seek new ways to train with our allies and partners, strengthen our bonds, and bolster our collective abilities.”
These fighter operations will provide opportunities for Pacific Air Forces’ innovative Airmen to showcase their abilities to make disciplined decisions at the lowest levels, ensuring the air component commander’s intent is met and the initiative is taken in a contested environment.
“We have unbelievably talented and skilled Airmen in our force here in the Pacific who are capable of accomplishing the mission, even in the harshest and complex environments,” said Maj Preston Kahikina, Westpac planner. “I have full confidence that WestPac will be a success because our Airmen that are always ready, diverse, innovative and lethal.”
Even with a pool of ready, capable Airmen, the global strategic environment continues to demand flexibility and freedom of action. The DFE concept will change the way the Department of Defense uses the joint force with its focus on strategic predictability and operational unpredictability.
(Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs)