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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Report: F-22 Organization and Utilization Changes Could Improve Aircraft Availability, Pilot Training

In a report released July 19, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Air Force has not fully maximized the availability of its fleet of 186 F-22 aircraft. GAO found the F-22 fleet is constrained by maintenance issues and units not being organized as efficiently as possible.

F-22 fighters use stealth coating to remain hidden during missions, but GAO found the process of applying the coating is time-consuming and reduces the amount of time the jets are available to conduct missions.

Also of concern to GAO is the organization of the F-22 fleet into two separate groups of 18 to 21 aircraft during missions. GAO said squadrons have traditionally organized all aircraft into groups of 24 planes per squadron during missions. In organizing the aircraft into larger groups, this allows pilots to share more equipment, parts and personnel, according to Air Force officials cited in the GAO report. Having larger groups per squadron also increases air superiority in high-threat environments.

A third issue addressed in the GAO report is the Air Force’s limited opportunities for F-22 pilot training programs on maintaining air superiority while conducting missions in high-threat environments. In order to meet the annual requirements, F-22 pilots must train nearly all year; however, many pilots are not meeting the requirements for those missions, according to Air Force records and officials cited in the GAO report. In some cases, pilots are more often required to participate in team-building exercises or others not related to air superiority, making it less possible to properly prepare to meet the annual requirements.

Read the full report

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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