Desert Raptors

Posted 15 November 2009
Photo by 2nd Lt. Kidron B. Vestal

The US Air Force deployed six F-22 Raptors and 150 Airmen to the United Arab Emirates in late 2009 to participate in coalition training at the UAE’s Air Warfare Center. Exercise Iron Falcon, which ran from 15 November to 10 December, was designed to bring together Gulf Cooperation Council nations plus other countries to strengthen military-to-military relationships; promote regional security; improve combined tactical air operations; and enhance interoperability of forces, equipment, and procedures. The F-22 pilots, based at Langley AFB, Virginia, also participated in bilateral training opportunities with coalition partners. This was the first time Raptors were deployed to the Gulf Region. One Raptor flew a demonstration flight at the Dubai Airshow in November.

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