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F-22s Are Back in the Middle East

by John Reed on April 30, 2012

Well, in case you haven’t seen this, F-22s are in the Middle East and everyone is very excited about this. The fifth-gen birds were there a couple of years go participating in excercisies with local air forces at the Gulf Air Warfare Center at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (at a time when tensions with Iran were spiking).

This time, the Air Force isn’t saying what the “significant” number of Raptors are doing downrange.

Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. John Dorrian would not confirm the exact location of the F-22s, but told ABC News they had been deployed to a base in Southwest Asia — a region that includes the UAE.Dorrian also stressed that the F-22s were simply taking part in a scheduled deployment and are “not a threat to Iran.”

“This is a very normal deployment to strengthen military relationships, promote sovereign and regional security, improve combined tactical air operations and enhance interoperability of forces,” Dorrian said.

The F-22 has only been in the UAE once before fortraining missions in 2009with “coalition partners.”

Dorrian declined to say what the Raptors’ mission was in the region this time around or how many planes had been deployed, citing operational security. However, Dorrian said that because of the F-22’s next-generation capabilities, any number of planes deployed to the region is “significant.”

F-15C Eagles are reportedly in the region as well, practicing tactics with the F-22s and the jets of other air forces in the area.

 

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