The F-22 Conducted Its First-Ever 'Combat Surge' In The Skies Above Syria

Bullet Points

Airmen assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron completed the first-ever F-22 Raptor "combat surge" over the last six months in skies above Syria, the Department of Defense announced on Wednesday, conducting an aggressive number of combat sorties over a single three-day period.

  • The squadron, deployed to the Middle East from Joint Base Langely-Eustis in Virginia to provide air support for U.S.-led coalition forces fighting ISIS in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, conducted 590 sorties, dropping 4,250 pounds of ordnance, and "deterring" 587 enemy aircraft during the six-month deployment.

  • While the Pentagon didn't specify when the three-day surge occurred, the DoD stated that the squadron faced "both enemy fighters and surface-to-air missile systems" as part of the U.S. response to the Syrian regime's illegal use of chemical weapons back earlier this year.
  • The F-22 seems perfectly suited to deliver relative air superiority in a battle space where U.S. and foreign aircraft are increasingly entangled in regular intercepts. Indeed, the first air-to-air kill in nearly two decades involved a Syrian Sukhoi Su-22 that earned itself a missile after messing with coalition ground forces, albeit thanks to a U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet rather than an F-22.
  • Things will only get dicier in the coming months. Russia's Ministry of Defense recently announced its T-50 fifth-generation fighter jet that saw testing in Syria in February was on schedule to make a comeback tour. This comes just weeks after Russia announced the transfer of the S-300 missile defense system to the Syrian regime following the shootdown of a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military aircraft over the Mediterranean.


The U.S. military's withdrawal from northeast Syria is looking more like Dunkirk every day.

On Wednesday, the U.S. military had to call in an airstrike on one of its own ammunition dumps in northern Syria because the cargo trucks required to safely remove the ammo are needed elsewhere to support the withdrawal, Task & Purpose has learned.

Read More Show Less

Retired two-star Navy. Adm. Joe Sestak is the highest ranking — and perhaps, least known — veteran who is trying to clinch the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Sestak has decades of military experience, but he is not getting nearly as much media attention as fellow veterans Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Another veteran, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) has dropped out of the race.

Read More Show Less

After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.

The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.

But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.

Read More Show Less
This photo taken on Oct. 7, 2018, shows a billboard that reads "The State Central Navy Testing Range" near residential buildings in the village of Nyonoksa, northwestern Russia. The Aug. 8, 2019, explosion of a rocket engine at the Russian navy's testing range just outside Nyonoksa led to a brief spike in radiation levels and raised new questions about prospective Russian weapons. (AP Photo/Sergei Yakovlev)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Three U.S. diplomats have been removed from a train and briefly questioned by Russian authorities in the sensitive Arctic shipyard city of Severodvinsk, near the site of a mysterious explosion in August that killed five nuclear workers.

Russia's Interfax news agency reported on October 16 that the diplomats were taken off the train that runs between Severodvinsk and Nyonoksa around 6 p.m. on October 14.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. Coast Guard had ordered the owner of an illegal 45-foot charter boat, named "Sea You Twerk," to stop operating.

He didn't, the Coast Guard said.

Now, Dallas Lad, 38, will serve 30 days in federal prison, a judge ruled Friday. When he is released, Ladd of Miami Beach, who pleaded guilty, will not be able to own or go on a boat for three years.

Read More Show Less