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Hawaii Air Guard F-22s makes first stop in Hilo

William Cole

The Hawaii Air National Guard is continuing its first F-22 Raptor fighter flights to Hawaii island for “logistics capabilities training” — and a little recruitment while they are there.

Four of the stealth fighters and support personnel will be at Hilo International Airport today until Saturday. It’s the first time Hawaii-based Raptors have landed and operated at Hilo, the Air Guard said.

“We need to be able to practice if our aircraft get diverted to see if they can still operate (at) alternate airfields within the Hawaiian islands,” said spokesman Orlando Corpuz.

A similar first-of-its-kind stop was made in Kona Oct. 11-13. Public viewings of the aircraft are being offered.

Some Hawaii F-22s were sent to the mainland ahead of Hurricane Lane in August. Some of the 17 F-22s that were sheltered in place at Tyndall Air Force Base because they were not air worthy were damaged by Hurricane Michael on Oct. 10.

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