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Hawaii-based F-22 Raptors deployed to Middle East

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    An F-22 took off Monday from Honolulu Airport’s Reef Runway as part of the Hawaii Air National Guard’s Sentry Aloha exercise.
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Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor fighters have been sent to the Middle East on what marks their first operational deployment, the Pentagon said.

How many jets and personnel is not immediately clear.

The stealthy planes about a year ago chalked up their first-ever combat missions with flights over Syria, and have operated out of Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates.

The Raptors’ use has included close air support engagements, including a June 23 attack on two field artillery pieces operated by the Islamic State, the Air Force said.

The pair of Raptors flying over Syria each released multiple satellite-guided bombs, destroying the targets, the service said.

Weeks later, another pair of F-22s flying over Iraq conducted a similar short-notice airstrike, releasing two GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions and destroying two Islamic State fighting positions in Iraq’s western Anbar province, according to the Air Force.

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