Shortest. Dogfight. Ever.

30.04.07

Categorie: Air, Asia |

When I was in Okinawa talking to the F-22 Raptor jockeys deployed for their first overseas exercise, they giggled at my proposal that they tangle with the nearby Japanese Air Self Defense Force F-4 squadron for practice. Well, guess what? According to Air Force Times, that very encounter has just occured:

Two F-22As and two F-15s of the U.S. Air Force, and four F-4s and four F-15s of the ASDF took part in Friday’s drill. After taking off from the Kadena and Naha bases, the fighters engaged in dogfight exercises, the officials said. Lt. Col. Wade Tolliver, commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron, told a press conference after the drill that the joint exercises with the F-22s, along with other U.S. fighters, must have brought great merit to the ASDF and helped deepen the two sides’ mutual understanding.

Supercruising F-22s versus 1950s-era F-4s? No wonder Tolliver lavished such public praise on the poor Nipponese aviators. They probably needed some coddling after the drubbing they (surely) got from the 27th Fighter Squadron. Check out my video of F-22s in Okinawa.

|

One Response to “Shortest. Dogfight. Ever.”

  1. [...] During their first major exercise in Alaska last year, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters from the 27th Fighter Squadron shot down 144 “enemy” F-15s and F/A-18s in mock dogfights. Still flush from that victory, the 27th headed to Okinawa in February and its sister 94th Fighter Squadron simultaneously deployed to Nellis Air force Base, Nevada, for the type’s first Red Flag exercise. While the 27th was sweeping the skies clear of Air Force F-15s and 1960s-era Japanese F-4s, the 94th ran headlong into the F-16s of the 64th Aggressor Squadron and suffered its first simulated shoot-down. Somehow the news escaped me, but Airforces Monthly has all the dirty details in its July issue: The 57th Adversary Tactics Group undertook some interesting tactics not contained in the overall [scripted] intelligence scenario. These involved surprise threats, generally Red Air [enemy] fighters, entering the air battle unexpectedly. White Force [exercise control] staff would confirm that the threat was Red and Blue Air [the “good guys”] had to react. The tactic worked. An F-16C pilot assigned to the 64th Aggressor Squadron gained the first-ever F-22 kill in Red Flag. [94th commander] Lt. Col. Dirk Smith told AFM: “At least half of the 94th FS crews had less than 50 hours in the F-22 and no matter how magical the F-22, any pilot can make a mistake. The beauty of Red Flag is that we were able to go out and practice our tactics in a challenging scenario, make a mistake, learn a lesson, and be that much better prepared for actual combat.”  [...]

Leave a Reply