F-22 May Get Its First Combat Mission

Fueling the Raptor

The U.S. Defense Department spent about $67 billion acquiring a fleet of almost 200 F-22 fighter jets, none of which has yet flown in combat.

That may change with a U.S.-led intervention in Syria, where the stealthy, highly maneuverable plane known as the Raptor may be used to penetrate and attack the country’s air defenses, among other targets.

“Syria is not Libya,” Mark Gunzinger, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a research organization in Washington, D.C., said in a telephone interview with Military.com. “Their air defense systems are more formidable. Using F-22s to help suppress those threats and support penetrating capability may be a good idea.”

The White House is preparing to launch a military strike in the war-torn country after the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad allegedly used chemical weapons against civilians. The Aug. 21 attack around Damascus reportedly killed a few hundred people and may be the deadliest since Saddam Hussein’s forces killed thousands of Kurds with Sarin gas in 1988.

While President Barack Obama said he hasn’t made a decision on whether to conduct a strike, he said there must be consequences for governments that break international norms against the use of chemical weapons.

“It’s important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime … will have received a pretty strong signal that, in fact, it better not do it again,” he said in an interview yesterday on PBS’s “NewsHour” show.

When pressed on what a limited air campaign will achieve, Obama acknowledged that it won’t “solve all the problems in Syria. It doesn’t obviously end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria. We hope … a political transition can take place.”

More than 100,000 people have died in the two-year-old uprising against forces loyal to Assad, according to a June estimate from the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the death toll through a network of activists in the country.

Details on what an operation might look like remain murky, though at the very least would probably involve launching a series of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, or TLAMs, from ships against such targets as command and control facilities, air defenses and aircraft.

The U.S. and Britain amassed an armada in the Mediterranean within striking distance of Syria. Four Norfolk, Va.-based destroyers — the USS Ramage, USS Mahan, USS Barry and USS Gravely — are already in position, ready to launch the Tomahawk cruise missiles.

At about $1.5 million apiece, the GPS-guided missiles are more expensive than conventional bombs. But they can be launched from a safe distance — at least several hundred miles — and are ideal for hitting so-called “light” targets in fixed locations above ground such as planes, runways, fuel depots, weapon storage areas and Russian-made SA-2 and SA-5 anti-aircraft batteries.

The mission may also involve dropping GPS- and laser-guided bombs from such aircraft as F-15 and F-22 fighter jets and B-2 and B-52 bombers, though the U.S. probably won’t target chemical weapons or stockpiles or other so-called “hard” targets, at least initially, because they’re more difficult to track, pose a threat to civilians and may be buried deep underground.

The F-22 for its air-to-ground mission can carry two 1,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions, or JDAMs; two AIM-120C Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAMs; and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

Operational F-22s are assigned to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Joint Base
Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; and Joint Base
Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, according to a July report from the Congressional Research Service.

The F-22 fleet was grounded for several months in 2011 and aircraft were again restricted from flying in 2012 after pilots complained of oxygen-deprivation symptoms, including dizziness, disorientation and coughs.

The Air Force, which initially struggled to identify the cause of the problem, concluded that a lack of oxygen — not the quality of it — was causing the symptoms, due primarily to a faulty valve on the pilots’ life-support vest.

The service earlier this year lifted flying restrictions on many F-22 fighter jets after upgrading their oxygen system and life-support equipment. It fielded new vest pieces in January and expects to finish installing automatic back-up oxygen systems on the rest of aircraft in the fleet by July 2014.

The aircraft is made by Lockheed Martin Corp., based in Bethesda, Maryland, and its oxygen system is made by Honeywell International Inc., based in Morristown, New Jersey.

Some questioned the Pentagon’s decision to not fly the F-22 in the 2011 allied attack on Libya that toppled former strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Whether to use the aircraft in Syria will be driven by operational requirements, not politics, according to Gunzinger, the analyst.

“The decision will be based on military need,” he said, “not on bureaucratic politics.”

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • David

    Haven’t we learned from history? Iran, Iraq, Egypt, ect. We got rid of all their “bad” leaders that kept the crazy islamist(s) is check and replaced them with crazies that want to kill all westerners. We NEVER learn!

    • hunter76

      Great! Iran, Russia, China, and David all want the Assad regime to continue in Syria.

      • Ben

        I’m glad you’re able to see the situation so naively.

      • gra42

        China’s with us Hunter. Regardless of the rhetoric. The difference between us and the others is that they have huge vested interests in Syria already.

    • The winds of change blow in both directions, The Iraqi National Movement won the majority of votes in the 2010 election, it’s a non-sectarian and secular democratic party. In Libya the elected party is secular, in the last election the Islamist party’s only got 20% of the vote combined. I don’t know why you bring up Egypt, the US didn’t take down Mubarak, he was forced out in a coup by the military, Obama fucked up by asking him to step down early so the elections got held early and the secular party hadn’t had enough time to organize and it shows in the two elections they had a year apart. The west would never have never got to were it is if people were not willing to take the risk of releasing political forces. The dictators suffocate and traumatize the populations which makes people more devout and vulnerable to radical Islam. The client state idea is flawed in the long run, modern dictatorships don’t last very long (max 50 years) (I think because they don’t have empires) and by the nature of Ba’athism, in that it’s just so committed to violence that it will eventually destroy itself and wreck the country’s they held power over. The lesson to me was that you can not let Muslim dominated country’s rot under dictators and then in wars, because the Islamist’s will exploit it (How much help was it to Sadr and Zaqawi that the combination of Saddam + sanctions destroyed Iraq’s middle class, infrastructure and institutions) you either have to aggressively back moderate and progressive forces or if there just to disorganized put forces on the ground. The option of radical Islamist take over can under no circumstances be aloud and the backing of dictators just puts off the confrontation and makes it easier for the Islamist’s post-regime. Europe will be destroyed if Islamist control the resources of a state that they can use to radicalize growing Muslim populations in the west, and in the mean time silence people against them (Danish cartoon controversy, no one in the US would publish the cartoons except Free Inquiry and Borders books took there magazine of the shelf) The only way to defeat Islamism is for the secular democrats and co, to win the argument in the Muslim world, like Europeans won the argument when it came to democracy and liberal society. (which will take a very long time) The west can greatly help and back up the democrats in the Islamic world.
      Anyone who says that Saddam Hussein was “bad” doesn’t know what there talking about when it comes to Iraq. No one who understood Saddam and Iraq properly would contend themselves with saying he was a bad guy. Read Republic of Fear by Kanan Makyia and Human Rights Watch on Iraq. There is a book that I haven’t read, but watched a lecture by the author called Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party Inside an Authoritarian Regime by Joseph Sassoon, the lecture I watched was pretty good. Christopher Hitchens lecture called “The Axis of Evil” for Fora TV which is also on YouTube has a great description of Iran, North Korea and Saddam’s Iraq.
      Last thing, the bombing will be limited and is only to enforce international norms of chemical weapons, if Obama wanted Assad gone, he’d be gone by now and he the only sending small amounts of weapons and possibly conducting missile strikes when Assad uses chemical weapons. Obama has to be seen to be doing something in the Middle East or with all his mistakes that effect his credibility (even if the actions were the correct ones) he will just completely loose creditability in the region. In my opinion Obama doesn’t want Assad gone and want to, in some stupid realist view, keep a lid on Islamist’s. In my opinion that approach is flawed and only puts the problems off and will make them worse.

    • extreme_one

      Whats makes you think the west wanted stable governments there and not crazies ? It’s not US government’s fault here. It’s yours and everyone else’s POV that is wrong.

      When has the west ever been seen as “good guys” in the rest of the world. Not what I can recall.

      • Rest Pal

        Right on.

        EVERY US military invasion of the past decades ended up inflicting far greater atrocities to civilians than the US propaganda apparatus had accused the overthrown government of committing.

    • “We got rid of all their “bad” leaders alright but never took in account how these “bad” leaders treat their own people. It was always about Western interests. Well westerners are not the only ones who inhabit this planet.

    • Take history lessons? The US did not get rid of Shah or Mubarak.


    About time these jets put to the test, I hope taxpayers won’t be disappointed. Make us proud F22’s.

    • Untried, untested. Not good for lead. 18’s and 117’s first.
      Let the proven tech have a go with this one first.

      • Vaporhead

        F117’s have been retired from service for YEARS! B-2’s on the other hand……

    • Dewey
    • Dewey
    • JDMCV

      I have a lot of confidence in the F22. While it’s not a perfect aircraft it has proven itself better than anything else we have in air to air combat. I think if it is used, it will be utilized to provide air security against the Syrian Air Force along with Navy F-18EFs. The B2 will be used after a cruise missile strike destroyes most of the Russian made SAM sites to hit more “key” targets – with protection of F22s. This is the appropriate order of things in warfare.



    • theazcowboy

      After the UNITED SNAKES (US/Israel/NATO) baby killers are there any worse ones?

  • Lance

    I doubt it will be used no USAF units deployed and only Tomahawk cruise missiles may be used. Doubt anything else but missiles from war ships would be used.

    • Rogue
      • blight_

        If Iran decides to intervene in Syria’s favor, moving forces out of the Gulf is the wrong answer. Curious if anything out of the Atlantic will be moved to the Med. Chances are it’ll be TLAMs, bombers, then marines, no carriers.

        Moving forces through the Suez to strike Syria; not sure how that will play out in Egypt.

        • Praetorian
          • blight_

            Convenient. 6 typhoons isn’t much. Having basing rights there will be good.

            Anyone know if there are any bases in the Med that can handle strategic bombers? Unless they are flying from Lakenheath..

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            …..or Germany.

          • USS ENTERPRISE

            Or, now that I think about it, Missouri.

          • JE McKellar

            Diego Garcia isn’t that far, for a strategic bomber.

          • blight_

            I’ll have to plot out the distance, but considering they could fly from Barksdale to Iraq I think I can skip that calculation. I suppose the hurdle is overflights…Yemen->Saudi Arabia->Jordan->Syria? Or fly over Israel instead of Jordan? Or fly over the Red Sea and over the Sinai? Or fly over Iraq and dogleg west into Syria? Not sure how many of these countries we can fly over

          • Praetorian

            Same site is reporting 2 U-2’s landing in Cyprus. If Cyprus can handle U-2’s it could handle strategic bombers, but ya Diego Garcia works.

          • blight_

            Yup. I had to look up RAF Akrotiri and assumed that if it handled U-2s it could handle B-52s. Additionally the RAF based Vulcans out of there at some point, so it handled vintage strategic bombers.

            Don’t know if it’ll support B-2’s (those will come from Diego or Whiteman)

          • Parrotnorth

            Aviano Italy

          • Diego Garcia in the Indian ocean is not that far from Syria probably the same distance from england to Syria.

          • SJE

            Britian is not contributing. Parliament voted against it.

          • retired462

            The Brits ARE NOT GONNA PLAY! Parliament said NO! They were called back to vote! Our congress does not think this matter is important enough to disturb their 5-week vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • blight_

            Our congress sucks.


      • quietime


      • White Eagle

        Rogue, You are correct. I’m tickled to death over all these comments from people that don’t know squat.

    • Mat

      Yes all bets are on pure cruise missile strike ,F22 has no capability that could be used ,there will be no air to air and in terms of air to ground older planes far outperform it in that role F22 is stuck half finished missing wital upgrades.

      • Alex

        Wow you have no idea what the capability of these aircraft hold.

    • ernie banner

      USAF is and has been deployed in that region for sometime. Jordan and Turkey
      are two.

    • Syria has enough supersonic missiles Onyx to destroy all NATO ships in that region

      • blight_

        Did you miss the news? A warehouse full of Onyx just…blew up.

        From an objective point of view, it might be interesting to see how Onyx does. It may give the USN a kick in the pants to go into live combat against anti-ship missiles again.

    • ItsTrue

      There is a lot of US Air Force hardware close by, more and in more places than all these other guys have mentioned, and they’ve been there for years. The USAF is more than capable of striking any country in the middle east at will.

  • Islamists are advancing on Damascus and America is the spearhead.

    • des111168

      Why is he being modded down for speaking fact? The opposition in Syria is mostly Islamist


      YES,,,,,I AGREE….

  • Will

    The attacks currently being discussed in the news media will have limited objectives. Not a situation to risk the relatively small quantity of F-22s or their pilots when other assets will do the job. The F-22s should be conserved for other contingencies such as a conflict with Iran.

    • Vok

      Your argument is laughable. If the air forces worries about F-22 being shot down and lost over Syria, won’t the situation be even grimmer when they have to face Iranians or Chinese? Then what good is the aircraft anyway other than some display trophies. Those so-called stealth fighters should be highly survivable and thus lowering the risk to pilots. If Syria does possess a more credible air defense than Libya, for the sake of our pilot’s safety won’t we want to send in F-22 instead of 4th Gen fighters?

    • David

      Iran does not require F-22s either in that sense.

    • DSF

      You are 100% correct!

  • Tribulationtime

    As i understood F-22 stealth works for air to air combat. Ground radars and defenses have a better “view” of the bird. I belive F-22 is not air to ground weapons qualificated althouth test were made. So her role is escort and CAPs, only.

    • FormerDirtDart

      I understand that you don’t actually understand very much

    • Amicus Curiae

      No, Tribtime, F-22 radar camouflage is also effective against SAM fire control radars. In fact, the F-22 took over the missions of the now retired F-117 and “Wild Weasel” F-4s. There are not enough of them to do all these things simultaneously in many locations, but it is what it is. I assume this is part of implementing a national policy with less global intervention. It seems the US can’t possibly do the things it once could, so it is working.

      • White Eagle

        Amicus, you are absolutely correct. People that don’t know what they are talking about should not post though I guess it’s their right to show their ignorance. Raptors are unstealthy only when JDAM launch doors are open to launch missiles, 3 – 4 seconds.

        • Rest Pal

          LOL. The F-22 has no stealth if one uses the right wavelengths or anti-stealth equipment.

          Thanks for telling us that you are Truly Naive in 3 – 4 seconds. You could have done it in slightly over 1 second by using the last sentence alone.

          You sure are zealously protecting your right to show your ignorance. LOL.

    • Z99

      F-22s have made A2G missions in Iraq.

      • Brian

        z99…again you folks amaze.me. You too White Eagle. And amicus and Tribulation…
        1) f22 is fully capable in an a2g role.
        2). The 22 is all aspect stealth (radar, electronic transmission from itself and even corrupting enemy ground and air threats, infrared, etc.)
        3) dedicated electronic jamming will come from growlers…
        4) and Einstein, oops White eagle(?!?…please), they are not “JDAM DOORS”! They are belly internal weapons bays that can carry 2x1k Jdams, 8xSDBs, or 6x AIM120s in there plus two AIM9s in the side bays.
        5) F22s have NEVER seen combat. Unless you believe that Israel took out a heavily guarded nuke facility with only F15Is and no help from the US.

        Read something about the genus of AESA (I.e. phased array radar first on cvn 65 and predecessor escorts) and then read about AESA, and DSP tech advances. Know something about the F4G or the EA6B. Or even our sentinel aircaft. Or the AUSIE wedge tail, or IADF comparable Gulf Stream equivalent.

        Read then talk. Otherwise you’re too dumb.

        • Z99

          On Sunday night, Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson risked their careers by appearing on the CBS news program “60 Minutes,” in uniform and without permission to discuss the stealth fighter’s flaw.
          Both pilots, who flew combat missions in the Iraq War, said they love flying the $400 million jets. But a faulty oxygen system that is suffocating the pilots and causing blackouts is making them fear for their lives and for the lives of people on the ground. Many other F-22 pilots have experienced disorientation, difficulty breathing and forgetfulness in the stealth fighters as well as a cough that follows them even after they land.

          I don’t trust huffpo for anything military related, I saw it somewhere else first but now I cant find it. They could be wrong because I’ve been trying to get info on those missions and can’t find any currently. But I thought I found something saying they dropped a couple bombs real late in Iraq. 

  • boswell

    Funny that $67B almost sounds like a bargain these days

  • hibeam

    I saw Mike Tyson swat a mosquito. Or as you guys would put it “A tune up fight”.

  • Moondawg

    Those planes are too sensitive and top secret to be let outside the confines of the lower 48.

    • Bill

      They are out of the lower 48. There are some in Alaska and Hawaii, read the article.

    • Amicus Curiae

      Huh? They are instruments of national policy as well as defensive weapons. Just the threat of them moving provokes a response.

    • hunter76

      You’re right. If we lost one of them, it’d be much worse than the intelligence loss when the F-117 was shot down in Yugo.

      Throw a few jabs with Tomahawks and see how it shakes out.

    • tmb2

      Then what would be the point of building them in the first place? You don’t need stealth aircraft for continental defense.

    • anubis

      Right: I have applied for one to be displayed in my living room where no harm can come to it.

  • Ben

    Glad to see the F-22 possibly being put to use; far from glad to see us sticking our dicks where they don’t belong.


    Rootin’ for ya Raptors! It may not be the best idea to get involved over in Syria, but at least we get to see how well the Raptor sweeps the skies…..

  • blight_

    Unmothball the -117s…hah.

    • BlackOwl18E

      Most stupid decision I have seen the Air Force make in my life time…


        Ahem, F-35?

        • BlackOwl18E

          Hahaha! That’s right. How could I forget?

    • Jay

      The Serbs shot down a 117 back when it was Clinton bombing to distract us from his incompetence. History repeating itself here.
      Syria has more modern radars and AD than Serbia had. Of course, that did not stop the Izzys from hacking their AD to bomb Assad’s nuclear reactor and bring out samples via chopper. Maybe we should subcontract to them.

      • blight_

        The -117s carry no EW whatsoever…they were meant to penetrate Soviet airspace with minimal emissions…they don’t even carry meaningful radar or fight air-to-air. Very minimalist, very specialist.

        Today I’m not sure how well they’d do against Soviet export radars. It’s always fun to wave the SAM missile epeen, but it’s the radars and the seekers that determine if you shoot anything down or not. Maybe they will be disciplined like the Serbs. Maybe they won’t. Perhaps they may have benefited from professional training from the Iranians, who at one point had a respectable army built on contemporary American hardware.

        I think it’d be cool if they could redesign the -117 to use curved surfaces (or stick to the facets if it’s easier to fabricate), perhaps a re-engine and new coatings? I think they are already JDAM-capable, along with Paveways.

        Two bombs isn’t a big payload, but that was 2x 2,000 pound bombs, not some piddly 500 or 250 pound bomb.

        • UAVGeek

          Or we could make them UCAVs =)

          • blight_

            Indeed, but you’d wonder if the emissions from a transmitter would enable easy triangulation. Perhaps with frequency hopping and such, or simply use them in an INS+GPS mode (star-finder if you feel rich). Fly to location, drop GPS-guided bombs, fly away.

            Pretty sure Iran can’t fake the stars in the sky, so you can jam GPS all you like.

      • JCross

        Figured I’d bring up that the F-117 was only lost due to payload bay doors being left open. Confirmed by the colonel manning the SAM site that the doors being open were what let them get enough of a signal to lock.

      • PolicyWonk

        That incompetence left this nation with an $800B annual surplus, the national debt being paid down, and the smallest, most effective government since the Kennedy Administration.

        Contrast that to what his successor left behind: the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression; the longest string of foreign policy and national security disasters in history (according to all 16 US national intelligence agencies); a worn-out military; a staggering debt to the communist chinese; the largest transfer of dual-use technology, US jobs, and the strategic manufacturing base in history; both the financial and real estate sectors in ruin; the rest of the worlds population believing that the US was a larger threat to world peace than IRAN; and two unfinished wars.

        But you think thats somehow an improvement?

    • Laurence

      There are about 9 to 12 of the F-117 that are keep in ready shap. They are use around Tonapah for test.

  • BlackOwl18E

    Seems highly unecessary to me. The F-22 wouldn’t be needed for this fight. They would just be using it to use it.

    • Ben

      It’s just to help shut the critics up.


      Well, what else do you do with them? Why not overkill for once? Be hilarious to see the faces of Syrian pilots O.O <-(what they will look like)

    • Amicus Curiae

      Syria has a decent air defense system. The F-22 is a good counter to that.

      • DB Cooper

        Amicus, We don’t send any kind of plane directly at AA sites. They might get lucky. You hit them with JDAMs, Cruise missiles or HARM missiles from a long distance. The longer the range of the missile system he further back you launch. We started doing that almost 4 years ago.

        • Yesindeed

          With mobile SAMs and whatnot, I would rather be in a -22 than a -15 if I had to go to Syria.

        • blight_

          Indeed. That’s why the Israelis have their Popeye missile…

          Ideally, we’d launch Ryan Firebee decoys from Turkey and Jordan, use them as bait and smash the radars with HARM missiles.

  • Taylor

    Sending signals is not a good war strategy. That’s what Lyndon Johnson used to do during the Vietnam war. I don’t think they ever got the message.

    • SJE

      They are sending a signal to see if they can get leverage.

    • oblatt1

      Sure they got the message the Vietnamese – were convinced that the Americans were genocidal and that the the Americans would never negotiate seriously..

    • DB Cooper

      Taylor, Bill Clinton went through over 1,000 cruise missiles sending messages no one bothered to read. That number by the way was almost every conventional cruise missile we had and at $1 mill a copy when he was pres it was some very expensive love notes.

  • JohnB

    I have never supported a strike of Syria due to the equal brutality of the opposition. But when chemical weapon is used and proven conducted by Assad ‘s regime, the red line is crossed, and an appropriate response from the US and world community is required.

    Strike them and get out. Don’t come in and get stuck. Appreciate donations and contribution from allies, esp. the Saudies, and wealthy locals who have great interests in this regional event.

    • Pall

      Problem is – it has never been prooved.

      • retired462

        The CW’s came from Iraq, before we invaded.

    • This nation and its allies looked the other way when Sadaam used gas on the Kurds. One way they can make up for it is giving those who are rising against the regime of Assad, the aid they need. After those misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US just can’t afford to be in the “nation building” business anymore.

      • blight_

        We don’t really care about chemical weapons. Halabja was a fiasco, and we didn’t intervene against Iran *or* Iraq.

        If the Northern Alliance used chemical weapons, I doubt we would’ve backed the Taliban out of greater humanity.

        Let’s just keep funneling weapons to the Special Activities Division and have them lead elements of the FSA. Launch false-flag attacks to exterminate Al Qaeda in Syria before it takes root.


        • Rest Pal

          You are completely right about the sheer hypocrisy of Obama and Cameron administrations.

          One thing though – “the al Qaeda threat” is a fiction of the US propaganda apparatus. In fact, the entire course of Middle East conflicts has been the product of non-stop subversive tactics and strategy employed by various puppet US/UK/Israeli administrations (Obama, Bush Jr, Bush Sr, Blair, Cameron, Netanyahu etc) under the influence of the money trust and military industrial complex.

          • BigIron

            At last someone who gets it.

            Our government has been co-opted by the PTB and are its minions.
            We have a “oneparty” political system in the US composed of “two sub-parties” to keep the “sheeple” occupied and duped into thinking they actually have some kind of control. The “winners” are for the most part pre-selected so that even if by some chance the opposition candidate is elected there will be little effect on their plans.

            When in 2012 it looked as though Ron Paul might actually have had a chance to win the Republican nomination for president the “National” Republican Party changed a “rule” to allow them to support Romney even before the National Convention had determined the Republican candidate.
            So, of the three boxes, the “soap box” is being taken away slowly; the “ballot box” is broken with every vote cast through the automated voting machines in doubt.
            No wonder so many of our founders were opposed to the political party system.

          • Rest Pal

            There is no doubt about the “automated voting machines” – they were rigged.

            They have been caught altering votes on multiple occasions. They weren’t even skillfully rigged. Many voting machines produced identical tallies.

            The US political and electoral system are a complete farce.

      • Matt Course

        So you guys think it’s all good to aid Al Quaeda that’s A good plan WTF .

    • tmb2

      100,000 deaths from bullets and artillery in two years is okay, but gassing a couple hundred is cause for war? As far as “strike and get out,” what for? We’ll fire off a few hundred million in missiles and leave? All Assad has to do is keep his head down that week and carry on whatever he was doing.

    • DB Cooper

      Using Chemical weapons serve would do nothing to help assad. His forces are winning. And the Saudis only play lip service to the west. They see them selves as the leader of the faith.

  • blight_

    I suppose if the United States stuck to blowing up SAM sites and “suspected” “chemical weapons depots” they could leave it at that. If you’re going to impose regime change, you may have to let the Russians have a seat at the table to appease them.

    To be honest, the only way to stop the bloodletting is to repartition the Middle East. Slice out a piece of Turkey, Syria and Iraq for landlocked Kurdistan. Sunni-stan will be eastern Syria, Jordan and western Iraq. Alawite-stan will be parts of Syria. Shiastan will be Iran and parts of Iraq (possibly even Basra, but giving Iran another strategic port..?).

    • hunter76

      Repartition is the last thing the people there want.

      • blight_

        Indeed. They are strangely happy with map boundaries drawn by the Crusader Zionists in the 1920’s.

    • DB Cooper

      Blight unfortunately your partition plan is what the brits did that cased many of the current problems.

      • blight_

        The British and the French deliberately partitioned the Ottoman Empire to create problems. Almost every overseas country is partitioned into groups as part of divide-and-conquer. Afghanistan, a strange artifact of the Durand Lane incorporates Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks and Pashtuns.

    • theazcowboy

      Can we start by repartitioning your neighborhood and then using (((hovering))) Predators armed with AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles – to ‘keep you ‘terrorists’ in line?’

    • yavzen

      who do you work for? slice out piece of Turkey will stop the blood?

  • Stay the heck out of this mess. Let them kill each other off by whatever means they choose. The current civil war poses no threat to the United States. For the cnic to direct a strike is a violation of the United States Constitution. This in itself will be grounds for impeachment if Congress can scrape up the gonads to do their job.

  • Big-Dean

    great, just great, Barry starts another war and we “lose” an F-22 over Syria (to an Russian manned SAM site previously unknown to us) and then the Russians go over every piece and the Chinese take it all back with them to China.

    …maybe that’s the plan….

  • Jay

    Syria has Su-30MK armed with new R77, R-74, R-27 and unlike Iraq/Serbia, they have SAMs that rumored to be able to shoot down cruise missiles and aircrafts effectively. The S-300 long range missiles protected by Pantsir SAM/AAA both using advanced scanned array radar.

    Using the F-22 could reduce the risk of losing conventional fighters to these unknown capability threat. Unless the new Russian made radar could detect & defeat stealth, the F-22 should work well together with B-2. The Turkish modernized F-4 could be easily shot down by Syrian forces is evidence of its capability.

    • Praetorian

      Bullshit, the best aircraft the Syrians have is the Mig-29, and it’s not even upgraded to the M/M2 config. yet.

    • JCross

      The S-300 is not in syria yet. The R-77 is not there. Nor is the R-73/74. Only a handful of Pantsir and some old model R-27s are in use on older planes not any of the new fulcrums or flankers. These could be more than dealt with by non-F22 planes. And shooting down an F-4, no matter how improved, is no accomplishment in 2013.

    • David

      Israel has attacked Syria and handful of times in the last few years with no opposition from AA or interceptors.

      The Syrian capabilities are not unknown.

      • blight_

        And the Israelis didn’t hang around for long. If the US wants to create persistent effects, runway cratering would be the first step.

        • DB Cooper

          Runway cratering is very temporary as in a few days or less

    • theazcowboy

      Firstly, the ‘loser’ F-22 can’t fly fight and win. Almost 1 trillion dollars later they are kept like preemie babies under ‘intensive care.’ . But, then the JSF-40 Lightening II cannot dive, fly over 30,000′ and needs a new engine that the Pentagon won’t spend the money to deveolpe ($900b!). So, here we are in the Tijuana jail – all smoke and no fire, jajajaja.

  • Andrew

    From a completely unbiased standpoint, I would love to see what a F-22 and US air doctrine can do in a relatively secure AD environment that includes the real shit like S-300s. Actually put some of this shit to the test, find out how things pan out.

  • J.L.santiago

    Let The Islamic countries in the region resolve their own mess, and let’s concentrate in putting our own house in order. This government needs to start taking a long hard look at our own infrastructure. We had one of our major cities declare bankruptcy for crying out loud do your damn job and fix our nation.

    • Lorraine

      I’m with you J.L.!

  • GreenTea

    Agreed. Syria is not an industrial heartland of Europe that has the resources to conduct a blitzkreig to take over a continent, or Middle East, and kill 6M people. So I’d say why the f_ck should we care? I’m also not much concerned about Islamist militants taking over the country. If they do and they lift a finger that’s against our interests, we can invade them and balkanize them.

  • GreenTea

    I think that we, in the US, first think about bombing another country without first thinking about what real justification for such bombing. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no tree hugger and I loved it when the F-111s bombed Libya for retaliation and thought that Clinton made a mistake in not bombing Taliban bases in the Stans during his administration, but seriously, is Assad going to hurt us? Heck, even experts say that Assad being in power would preserve the relative peace and quiet along the Golan Heights.

    • So in essence, Assad gets pimped as a tripwire toward the defense of Israel. If one is to believe the experts.

    • blight_

      “that Clinton made a mistake in not bombing Taliban bases in the Stans during his administration”

      Thought they hit AQ since that was our beef. It’s just like Syria all over again…”let em kill each other” is the mantra. If Shah Massoud had been backed in the ’90s…if only, if only.

      • GreenTea

        I stand corrected. I made the comment because of what was reported as missed opportunities to take out OBL: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4540958/ns/nbc_nightly_

        I thought that during Clinton’s administration, AQ had already attacked US interests.

    • DB Cooper

      Green Tea, Clinton did bomb a ton of the terrorist cams in the stans. Problem was he told them to get out of them because the missiles were on the way.

    • theazcowboy

      FYI; The bombing of a German bar full of GI’s was later proven ‘not’ to have been committed by Libya, thus the Reagan attack on Libya (Where Gaddaffi’s infant daughter was murdered by US missiles) was not justified. But, war criminal (Central America, some 300,000 civilians tortured and murdered by US funded ‘Contra’s ‘death squads.’ ) by 666 (Ronald Wilson Reagan) the warmongerer that prefered to attack little impotent nations (Grenada, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama) to show off ‘evil’ AmeriKKKa’s GREAT POWER.
      Vomit! Vomit!

  • extreme_one

    Russia never delivered the S-300 to Syria. I guess they are regretting that decision now.

  • Parrotnorth

    No need for the F-22 in this area. F-16s and F-15Es using stand off smart munitions will do the job. Of course whats the point. Let them have their civil war. We have no dog in this fight. Both sides hate us. Let them kill each other. Besides if Iran decides to enter this Bovine Scatt and closes the Gulf the price of gas would go to over $10 a gal.

    • DB Cooper

      Let them block the straights. A Short term (months) disruption in our fuel supply would serve a valuable purpose getting the dems kicked out of office and get rid of their BS anti oil agenda. Then to punish Iran we drop exactly 3 2000 lb bombs. I believe 90% of irans fresh water comes from 3 desalinization plants. Take out two of them. The last bomb would be for their one and only oil terminal. Without fresh water they cant refine their own oil so they have to import finished product

      • blight_

        Do they even have refineries? I was under the impression that they had a severe bottleneck in refineries and had to import finished product. At least in the states our refinery capacity is somewhat in line with demand, but not for long.

        That said, if Iran blocks the Straits, it’s just political ammo for “the Dems” to go into Iran with republican rah-rah. Europe on the other hand will swing from the noose. That said, American oil companies win because they can sell at world market shortage prices (because that’s what the market will bear) at the same costs as yesterday. Pass on the winnings to the shareholders.

    • Gene


  • IknowIT

    Yea!!! F22 on point for f-ing al qaeda.. Good going Obama and your cocky mouth

  • John Murray

    Where would you fly them out of, Sigonella? Bringing them in just so you can try them out in combat really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Of course the whole idea of sending aircraft or shooting cruise missiles into Syria doesn’t make any sense so I guess that’s what our government will do.

    • DB Cooper

      Send tankers out of Turkey

  • 6Kings

    Why use a Saw to pound in a nail? F22 is an interceptor primarily. Sure, it can be used to hit ground targets but why when there are better tools. Geez, the Pentagon has morons in charge!

    • ChuckL

      Yeah, They are all called Obama.

      • Rest Pal

        LOL. They are all as stupid and subservient to their corporate masters as Obama.

  • oblatt1

    The multiple defeats in the war on terror have left America scared and weak. I’m sure that even if it means sarin gas smuggled in from Mexico in our malls in retaliation – Americans are willing to pay the price just so we can be a great power again.

  • Harvey Meltzer

    WELL Since we have a good record on “OOP’S” missed the target. Asad could be one of the ones in the “WRONG” Target.

  • Dfens

    Somehow it seems appropriate that the F-22’s first mission should be to advance Al Queda’s agenda in the Middle East.

  • Mikey

    I really like the 8 page reply to the first comment, Wow. The U.S. needs to stay out of this. If they want to change those that govern them I say let them. But let them do it; it will mean more to them. We don’t need American Blood spilled in the Middle East. I say hands off.

  • benny

    We were duped into believing that Iraq had WMD’s by an Iraqi general who was really a front man for Iran. Iran used us to do their dirty work. Let’s not let that happen again. It would not be unlike Sunni militants to gas Shia civilians and blame it on Assad. GO AHEAD SUCK US IN AGAIN!!! Let China step in and do something. They’re the BIG BOY on the block now. The US needs to stay out of other countries affairs and start taking care of their own.

  • DB Cooper

    Saddam did have WMD. He used Sarin gas on the Kurds and the Swamp Arabs.

    • extreme_one

      They were destroyed before the second Iraq war and done so under UN inspection.

      • DB Cooper

        Yeah right. Even Saddams own Generals, the Germans, French, British, Italians, Israelis and the Iranians all said Saddam had WMD.

        • blight_

          The Germans didn’t. Curveball did. Curveball and Hussein Kamal (executed by Saddam) were primary sources. French also passed on Curveball.

          Iran /knows/ that Saddam had WMD during the 80s; and had a vested interest in ensuring Saddam got in trouble with the international community; and if they could get America to knock off Saddam for them…

        • peters

          All of them wrong.

          If 90% of the world say that the Sun revolves around the Earth, does it make claim true?!

          No WMDs were found in Iraq. Nor was the real motive of going in remotely connected to search and seizure of WMDs.

          Have you done no real research into the matter after all these years?

  • Marcelo Pacheco

    F22 can carry either 2 1000lb JDAM or 8 SDBs. Due to enhanced design, SDBs can replace a 1000lb JDAM in most missions, increasing their bombing capability four fold.
    SDBs also glide far longer than JDAMs, using F22 speed and altitude SDBs are predicted to fly over 80 miles to hit a target, allowing Raptors to avoid getting to close to higher threat SAMs.
    Hopefully Raptor dropped SDBs will be used in place of most tomahawk missions, due to its far lower cost (a Raptor flying a 4 hour mission dropping 8 SDBs costs about the same as a single TLAM costs).
    Or USAF can keep the Raptors as a questionable asset in real world missions. We’ll see.

    • Jack
    • Jack
  • extreme_one

    Anyone has a guess of how close to the coastline the warships needed to be to fire their missiles ?

    • extreme_one

      I am thinking if there is any chance Syria might hit the warship using it’s Yakhont missiles.

      • Jack
      • Jack
  • JohnB

    These thousands of death is just a small beginning if we, the US and world community, do not act. The conflict in Syria is a dilema that it either happens the way it has been, or we can sacrify our own human lives bringing in our own troops to topple one dictator ‘s regime in order to set up another which so far has not shown any less degree of brutality.

  • Pepe

    Let’s put the F22 into test so that we know how stealthy and effective they are in a given situation and make a necessary modification if ever……

    • Rest Pal

      Just fly a couple of F-22s into Russian air space and see what happens.

  • James

    This is a great idea! Lets go ahead and expose the F-22 to Russian and Iranian operators for training on its RCS. Brilliant!

  • Tim
  • Tim


    • DB Cooper

      Calm down Kevin and stop shouting. BTW everything you enjoy in life is a direct result of military R&D.

  • TKevinC

    WTF? Did we run out of cruise missiles? No need to risk billions in aircraft and crew to send “a signal”. Unleash a barrage of Tomahawks and see if anything gives. If it doesn’t accomplish what you’d hoped then proceed with escalation of force.

    • DB Cooper

      TK, We were so short of cruise missiles there was talk of converting some of the Nuclear tipped ones into conventional missiles. That idea was squashed because of its potential effects on our nuclear deterrent. JDAMs technology had matured enough to begin production and the military did not want to buy replacement cruise missiles but congress passed a bill with funding mandating the building of more.

    • blight_

      We honestly need a new generation of ALCM’s, not more TLAM. Our gunboat diplomacy is now VLS-tube diplomacy. Bombers can be put on target a lot faster, but I suppose if you want a ship to hang out for days and “intimidate”…

      • tiger

        Faster? If like you 10 hour plus flights & refueling. Sorry, but The Navy beats the USAF on this. They can stay longer, deliver more payload & we have more of them.

        • blight_

          Assuming that you are close to a priority area.

          Luckily “giving diplomacy a chance” buys us enough time to bring the Navy offshore…

  • DB Cooper

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members… It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.”

    – Hillary Clinton, Oct 8, 2002

  • DB Cooper

    Thought you guys would like to see just the first part of an old article.


    For example: In 1998’s Operation Desert Fox, the four-day punitive bombing campaign in Iraq, the U.S. expended 90 air-launched cruise missiles. During that same operation, ships and submarines fired more than 300 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, or TLAMs, at $1 million a copy.
    Bottom line: At one point, the Air Force simply ran out of CALCMs during the Kosovo campaign.

    • blight_

      What makes it worse is replenishment. We’re going to have to go to a major, secure port to do replenishment…perfect target.

  • Hant

    F 22 killed in SyriaSeptember 2 2013 at 12:27 PM
    No score for this post kamel (Login kamel_bylka)
    Eagle Squadron (US)
    According to U.S. media, therefore, including the Oklahoman newspaper, citing U.S. military sources, a Lockheed F-22 Raptor, U.S. fighter, had crashed late yesterday afternoon and in the night from Sunday to Monday in northern Jordan. However, the military sources also appear to claim that this plane, the Lockheed F-22 Raptor, was just shot by Syrian missiles when he tried to get beyond the Syrian border. If this information is confirmed, the specter of an attack on Syria away, especially that this time, Syria is more vigilant and hand on the trigger, waiting for all eventualities .

    The Los Angeles Times said meanwhile that the Syrian defense forces shot dead four Tomahawk missiles launched by the U.S. on Syria. If this is the case, then these deadly weapons are part of ultimate cruise missiles, we must admit that it will just be the end of the war inclinations people like Obama or his rantanplan, Francois Hollande. Finally, hope …
    According to these sources, these missiles have been launched to test the degree of protection of Syrian forces.

    • blight_

      By the way, I don’t see anything on The Los Angeles Times website? (http://www.latimes.com/)

      Allahu Ackbar, Mohammed is the most Awesome Bike Messenger, Peace be Upon Him, Inshallah. Bless our great Ayatollah, may he smite the Little and the Great Satan, allah protect our brave Hezbollah and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps holy warriors!


  • DB Cooper

    I seriously believe that is propaganda. During the last Israeli incursion into Lebanon there was a Hezbollah guy guarding a so called crash site of a shot down IDF Jet. If you looked close though you could see it was a pile of burning tires. Someone didn’t have their F-Stop set low enough to properly blur out the tires.

  • ChuckL

    The official count was 187 which included the one which was destroyed shortly after completion and several others htat have been destroyed since.

    I should think that the Air Force Insider would know this.

  • Jasper

    Give B Hussein O enough rope to cinch his impeachment.

  • Bill M.

    Keep our powder dry, whatever little bit we have left. Russia, China and Iran are our real enemies and they are suckering us into fighting their straw man in Syria. We’ve been fighting ghosts for the last twelve years and have accomplished zilch.

    Give Putin the ultimatum and forget his puppet Assad. Without Russian aid, Assad will fall.

    • tiger

      Not entirely true. Castro is still in power without any aid….

  • Michael Shigorin

    Well the rumours have that F-22 lost its first combat mission, the sources are unclear though. This will have to be sorted out in public though, hope at least some Americans are thoroughly fed up with fed lies already.

  • DB Cooper

    Our gov’t shouldnt worry about what Russia will do. They are a toothless tiger that couldnt even defend their own territory if it wasnt for nukes. They have I believe 5 functional strategic bombers which took 2 yrs to build each one. The rest of the air force can barely take off and land. The black sea fleet has an average ship age of 40 years and they are afraid to go out to sea. Get a close up of the ships in the russian fleets and they have an inch thick layer of pain on them which would make their actually being able to use their weapons close to impossible. The federal army had to pull out of Chechnya because the muslims were cleaning their clocks and putin didnt want the embarrassment of it happening while he was in power. They have only been able to afford 1 new tank a year and don’t have the money to do much maneuver training. Their best barely beat the Georgian Army.
    China could bluster and fire some missiles but they are not going to go to war over syria. Saying all of that I still believe O would be a flaming idiot to start another war that would not benefit our country in any way.

  • How about 100 hours of strikes and bombings? Tomahawks and then B-62 missions. I think the B-52s could make their run while the Tomahawks are raining. In 100 hours, Assad’s ability to make war should be obliterated. Have you ever seen what the Earth looks like after a B-52 run?

    • DB Cooper

      B-52’s don’t do Arc Light missions anymore. The bomb bays have rotary dispensers so they can load precision munitions.

    • US failed in Vietnam war after using 3,000,000 tons of bombs.


    barack insane obomber done gone nuts! he has a death wish! OURS!

  • wlodell

    F-22, first time in combat? Naw, that’s not true! First F-22 combat was with ‘Iron Man’, I know because I saw it in a movie.

  • DB Cooper

    Unfortunate, although you say this in jest too many people learn their history and world events from movies. I once had a young lady who asked me why during the Revolutionary War the people had to look out for the British and signal by lamps. And why did Paul Revere have to make his ride. They could have just watched the brits by satellite and called on their cell phones. Sadly, I’m not making this up.

  • Hant

    Америка может узнать, что такое настоящая война. Это не безнаказанная бомбардировка беззащитных Ирака, Афганистана и Ливии. И даже не Вьетнам, из которого “героическим” янки пришлось убегать с позором. Вся ваша спесь улетучится после первых же потопленных авианосцев. Вояки вы хорошие только в голливудских боевиках. Момент истины впереди, и этот момент покажется вам кошмаром…

  • DB Cooper

    Translated – America can learn what a real war. This is not unpunished bombing defenseless Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. And do not even Vietnam, of which the “heroic” Yankees had to run away in shame. All your pride will evaporate after the first aircraft carrier sunk. Fighters you are good only in Hollywood movies. The moment of truth in front, and this time you will find a nightmare …

    Hant, You are obviously a product of a Vlad Putin education. How bout them russian troops havinbg to run out of chechnia like dogs with their tailes between their legs? Or the Russians best forces barely able to defeat the Georgians? Our problem is incompetent traiterous Democrat party politicians. We didnt lose in Vietnam we just quit playing. The democrats wouldnt let us win. I could go on for hours at russias problems. If it wasnt for nukes the Iranians would own all of southern Russia and China would have already taken over all of Siberia. BTW wa does Russia and the russian military in particular have such a HUGE Heroin addiction problem?

  • DB Cooper

    Translated – America conducts itself in the world as a sheriff-imbitsel: yes Colt, but no brain, because and dangerous. How can we explain the fact that the U.S. is going to fight on the side of al-Qaida on the money the Saudis?
    What kind of democracy are you talking about? Snowden told everyone what methods your gangster state acts. A monkey with a grenade …

    Google translation is not perfect but the ideas are clear enough. Personally I think its stupid for us to get involved, even stupider to do it in a half way manner, even more stupid to do it to help put al-quaida in power. The soviets and now russia spy like thugs and criminals on everyone including their own people. Historically the french then the israelis where the top spyers after russia and the US. Ironically the US started doing all of this techno spying after he destroyed our humit capabilities. Don’t worry Putin will hang himself.

  • BispoX
  • cschene

    What a waste of money the F-22 raptor was! At 330,000,000 each we purchased an over priced aircraft that we don’t need as our other aircraft are perfectly capable of the mission.

    The military industrial complex produces just to produce and suck money out of our economy that we can use much more productively. We could buy an F15 for 30 million, an f16 for 20 million.

    We could have funded college education for 600,000 engineers for that cost

  • Gene

    I’m NOT the boss but I don’t want ANY Americans flying in Syrian airspace. NONE.

  • brian

    My relative is a pilot of one of these mighty figther jets. All of the training that he has received is about to be tested before our very own eyes. The best to 2nd Lt W… We love you bro and am proud of you!

  • Robert perry

    If a pilot goes down in this encounter of no boots on the ground, who will recover the pilot?

  • dave

    The country that needs a political regime change is the U.S.

    • Rest Pal

      Very good. But I’m afraid a simple regime change won’t achieve the desired goal. (the change from GW Bush to Obama has accomplished nothing; in fact, it’s gotten worse.)

      The US needs a change of political system. That simply won’t happen until the US finally collapses … in about 15 years perhaps.

  • Steffanie

    Obama is probably going to give one each to Putin and Assad for bailing him out in Syria.

  • guest

    “No Boots on the Ground’. What happens if a pilot gets shot down. Obama leaves him/her like in Bengazi?

  • BigIron

    We, the US, should STOP now; it is criminal that our involvement in the war in Seria should continue at any level. It should be obvious that the “chemical weapons” attack was a “false-flag” attack promulgated by factions of the NWO in conjunction with the Muslim Brotherhood for their “own” purposes and was NOT carried out by the current “lawful” government of Seria. I do not consider this to be a proper role for our military or the people of the United States but one being forced upon us by the internal “minions” of the NWO who have infiltrated our government at the highest levels.

  • BigIron

    We got ride of Gaddafi in LIbia NOT because he was a horrible abusive dictator but because he was a “liability” to the monetary control of the PTB. When I first heard of Gaddafi’s intent to create the African Gold Dinar (“gold” backed not “fiat” currency that allows for the easy theft of wealth from those foolish enough to use it) to be used to pay for African oil and keep the wealth of Africa in Africa for the benefit of the people of Africa I knew his days were numbered and truly they were. As middle-eastern leaders go he evidently was quite humanitarian and treated his people well though you would never have known it from the MSM press coverage here in the US. The minions of the NWO had done their job of demonizing Gaddafi well.

    The PTB don’t like any one screwing with their plans and are quite vengeful when they do so; ergo, Gaddafi’s family had to be destroyed as well.

  • jamie

    The path to WW3 is already in the works. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

  • Josh

    Wake up people. This has nothing to do with gas. This is all about Russia not wanting Saudi Arabia to run a new gas pipe line through Syria to feed Europe, where at present the Russian gas company has a strong hold.

  • TFOrange

    Are there any confirmed CAS call-outs where ordinance was dropped in the last year? i have heard reliable sources say rumor has it they’ve already been in contact over a half dozen times (not including that chasing off of the MIGs).

    Anyone know anything about this?

  • Fj Tate

    I would like to know how the F22 withstands the Russian front line fighter but not this time we don’t belong in Syria . Sooner or later Isreal will have to deal with them and then we may have to watch their back door … Let Russia and or Cina get their kicks and a few butt kicks would do them good . I don’t like Russia killing innocent folks over there .. Give and train the oposistion with weapons to do some damage to Russia Like we did in Afghanistan Would do more good than any thing we could do to them .. MY TWO CENTS thanks !