The US Air Force is holding a press conference tomorrow toaddress lingering questions about the root cause of a series of hypoxia-likeincidents that have plagued its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fleet since 2008.
Maj Gen Charlie Lyon, Air Combat Command’s director ofoperations, along with a panel of USAF experts will try to explain how theservice reached the conclusions that it did. The USAF is blaming the CombatEdge upper pressure garment and associated hoses and connector for the Raptor’swell-publicized problems. But not everyone is convinced…
The problem for the USAF is that it has a credibility gap onthis issue not only with the public and Congress, but with the pilots who flythe Raptor.
One Raptor pilot sums it up succinctly.
“There’s one thing I know for certain: The Combat Edge isn’tthe culprit,” he says. “But they’re trying to show positive momentum.”
Tomorrow, Lyon will have to convince the Congress (he’sbriefing them in the morning) and the media during an afternoon pressconference that the USAF’s official finds are correct and that the service hasfinally gotten to the bottom of the problem.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, a squadron ofRaptors from the 1st Fighter Wing has safely arrived at Kadena,Japan. The unit will train under the direction of the resident 18thWing. It’s a reunion of sorts, Brigadier General Matt Molloy, the commander ofthe 18th Wing, previously commanded the 1st FW until lastyear.