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F-22 Raptor Chronology - 2006

21 January 2006
The F-22A Raptor showed another of its capabilities when it flew its first two operational sorties over the United States in support of Operation Noble Eagle Jan. 21 and 22. The Raptor mission came one week after the 27th Fighter Squadron -- the first unit to fly the jet -- converted to the Air Force's fifth-generation stealth fighter.

24 April 2006
The Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley announced a new F-22A initiative to kick off at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in early 2007. The "Ready Elmendorf" program will kick-start the process for Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, to become the second F-22A operational location by training pilots, crew chiefs and maintainers at Langley before the Alaska-bound Raptors and Airmen transition to Elmendorf.

May 2006
An independent cost estimate of the F-22 multi-year, conducted by the Institute of Defense Analyses (IDA) was delivered in May to both the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees. IDA concluded that the F-22 met all criteria required to enter into a multi-year contract agreement. The study estimated that a multi-year contract for F-22 procurement would result in at least $225 million in savings for the Department of Defense.

16 May 2006
In the Air Force's multiyear procurement justification package sent to Congress on May 16, 2006, it stated that an additional $674 million is needed to fully fund the multiyear program being proposed.

23 May 2006
F-22 Raptors landed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, on Tuesday, May 23, 2006. Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron at Langley AFB, Va., supported Exercise Northern Edge 2006. The Air Force selected Elmendorf as the home for the next operational F-22 squadron. The base will receive 36 Raptors, with the first jet expected in fall 2007.

30 June 2006
The last of 12 F-22A Raptors from the 27th Fighter Squadron returned 30 June 2006 to Langley Air Force Base, VA, marking the end of the first operational overseas deployment for the fighter. The Air Force used Alaska for the deployment so the Raptor pilots could take advantage of the new plane's performance in the 67,000 square miles of Alaska military operating areas and ranges. The five-week assignment also allowed the F-22A to fly with and fight against visiting US combat aircraft participating in Operation Northern Edge and to work with the specially modified F-15Cs of Elmendorf Air Force Base's 3rd Wing.

September 29, 2006
The fiscal year 2007 Department of Defense Authorization bill authorized a 3 year multi-year procurement contract for the U.S. Air Force to acquire the last 60 F-22s in the current plan. Expectations were that the multiyear contract will end what have been annual battles in Congress over the F-22, the most expensive fighter ever built. This overturned efforts by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to keep purchases on an annual basis.

October 16, 2006
Raptor 4087, the first F-22 destined for basing and operations in the Pacific Rim, completed final assembly and was rolled out of production on October 16, 2006. Air Force leaders from Alaska and Lockheed Martin employees were on hand to mark the event in Marietta.



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