BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:30 A.M.) – The U.S. is withdrawing their F-22 Raptors from the Middle East region after deploying them five years ago, the National Interest reported this past week.
According to the National Interest report, the U.S. Air Force will be replacing their F-22 Raptors with their older generation F-15 fighter jets.
“The Air Force had little choice but to withdraw the radar-evading Raptors. The flying branch is struggling to rebuild the tiny and stressed F-22 force following the destruction of Tyndall Air Force Base, once the home of scores of Raptors, in Hurricane Michael in October 2018,” the National Interest said on their website.
“There are currently no F-22s deployed to AFCENT, but the United States Air Force has deployed F-15Cs to Southwest Asia,” U.S. Air Forces Central Command told Air Force magazine.
“U.S. Air Force aircraft routinely rotate in and out of the theater to fulfill operational requirements, maintain air superiority and protect forces on the ground,” they continued.
“For years, the air superiority role had been flown by F-22s, which first deployed for combat in 2014 in support of the anti-ISIS fight,” Brian Everstine wrote in Air Force.
The F-22 was used to carry out the airstrikes against the Syrian military on the April 14th, 2018.
“Thanks to its unique fifth-generation capabilities, the F-22 was the only airframe suited to operate inside the Syrian integrated air defense systems, offering an option with which to neutralize [integrated air-defense system] threats to our forces and installations in the region, and provide protective air support for U.S., coalition and partners on the ground in Syria,” AFCENT told Air Force following the April 2018 strike.