Weather delays arrival of F-22A Raptors to Kadena
KADENA AIR BASE — A squadron of the Air Force’s newest and most advanced fighter jet didn’t arrive at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, this weekend as scheduled.
The F-22A Raptors were supposed to arrive for their first overseas deployment Saturday afternoon from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where the 27th Fighter Squadron from Langley Air Force Base, Va., had stopped last week en route to Okinawa.
But the jets were delayed until Sunday because of weather, according to Kadena spokesman Master Sgt. Jeffrey Loftin.
Nine of the 12 Kadena-bound fighter jets took off from Hawaii Sunday, but “U.S. Military officials elected to return the unit back to Hickam AFB for operational reasons,” according to an Air Force news statement.
Officials said the aircraft and the 250 squadron personnel will still deploy to Kadena, but they didn’t release any details of when that would be or why the jets were delayed Sunday.
The squadron, which will be a part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Western Pacific security package, will be on Okinawa for up to five months of training.
On Saturday, several hundred protesters gathered outside Kadena to oppose the squadron’s arrival of the squadron. A Feb. 12 story should have said the correct anticipated cost of a long-term project involving the construction of a new harbor and runway at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is $2.5 billion.
The story also should have said the vessels housed at the new harbor are owned by private contractors and are used by the Marine Corps to transport servicemembers and equipment to military exercises in the Pacific.