US Air Force to send dozens of F-22 fighter jets to the Pacific amid tensions with China

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    • #435375
      soryang
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      US Air Force to send dozens of F-22 fighter jets to the Pacific amid tensions with China

      By Brad Lendon, CNN

      The Chinese air force has about 20 to 24 operational fifth-generation fighters, Schuster said, but he noted Beijing’s capabilities are improving at a rapid pace.

      The US Air Force has around 180 F-22s in its fleet, although only about half are mission capable at any one time due to maintenance requirements, according to Air Force statistics. So the US will be sending about 25% of mission F-22s to the Pacific Iron exercise.

      Because of their ability to evade radar detection, F-22s would be expected to be among the first weapons used in any conflict, tasked with taking out an adversary’s air defenses among other missions.

      “The US is actively practicing the deployments it will make if there is a major crisis or war. The US is taking China very seriously and is developing its force posture and training its forces to be able to quickly move into position,” said Peter Layton, a former Australian air force officer now an analyst with the Griffith Asia Institute.

      https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/15/asia/us-air-force-f-22-guam-tinian-exercise-intl-hnk-ml/index.html

      Naturally they need tankers and extensive ground support wherever they go to take advantage of their high tech features. In any case, the Chinese will be watching carefully to observe the dispersal, the length of the exercise, and what, if any, limitations as well as capabilities are observed.

      I used to see a lot of open source reporting on military aircraft operations in the western Pacific and China littoral. Lately, it has dwindled to almost nothing. I would expect substantial Chinese air exercises after these US forces leave the area. These make the point that it’s not only how big a military deployment or exercise is, but how long it can be sustained. Perhaps the US exercise will be supplemented or dovetailed with carrier strike forces from the Navy or allies.

      In diplomatic terms, it’s unnecessary bluster. China isn’t a third tier military power, like Serbia, Iraq, or Syria.

    • #435484
      gordyfl
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      I would expect substantial Chinese air exercises after these US forces leave the area.

      But those Chinese air exercises will not be off the coast of Maryland, New York or California. Could you imagine the uproar by our politicians and our media if “dozens of Chinese fighter jets” we’re heading toward Florida?

      • #435508
        soryang
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        @jamesgordon

        After US strike forces leave an area like the East Sea, Taiwan Straits, South China Sea, etc., in the past I’ve noticed this pattern in the Chinese theater. As far as the Chinese operating near the US, I only recall one specific instance where they test-launched an ICBM from a submarine whose contrail was observable from some place in Southern California. That was a couple of years ago at least.

        Generally the Chinese are not interested in operating military forces close to the US. Sometimes Russia operates in areas more proximate to North America when the US puts on one of these exercises in the Chinese theater. Sometimes the Russians send a couple of strike aircraft with support aircraft near Japan when the US is operating down near the Philippines. They always say, the exercise was planned some time ago, but I don’t think it’s just a coincidence.

        Russian Navy Warships Come Within Two Dozen Miles of Hawaii
        BY BRENDAN COLE ON 6/23/21 AT 8:35 AM EDT
        https://www.newsweek.com/hawaii-pacific-fleet-russian-navy-uss-vinson-coast-close-1603292

        In any case with respect to US operations close to China, the Chinese reaction is to conduct substantial military operations after the US and allied force leaves the area. I think of The Art of War and also a martial arts principle that the one who fights at extended ranges is at a disadvantage. It doesn’t really matter what conventional force multiplier one imagines that one has. “The one who first knows the measure of far and near wins.” “So when the front is prepared, the rear is lacking, and when the rear is prepared the front is lacking, preparedness on the left, means lack on the right, preparedness on the right, means lack on the left. Preparedness everywhere means lack everywhere.” So the Pentagon budget is never enough. I think the operational and budget impulse will be to try to aim at a continuous substantial US military presence close to China. What’s the point of all this effort? If one desires to reinvest in infrastructure and become economically competitive again, with “peer rivals,” don’t potentially unending military initiatives far from home detract from this policy choice?

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