Leadership: Only Jedi Knights May Fly F-22s


October 4, 2007: The U.S. Air Force, faced with the prospect of receiving only about 200 F-22 fighters, has decided to turn this problem into an opportunity, by creating a highly specialized force. Therefore, F-22 pilots will specialize in air-to-air combat, and the destruction of enemy air defenses. This latter job is the most dangerous one for a pilot, but it is essential during the early stages of any war or battle. The stealthy F-22 is ideally suited for defeating enemy radars and anti-aircraft missiles. But to do this right, in a single seat fighter, you need lots of practice. That's why F-22 pilots will concentrate on only those two missions. This is not to say the F-22 can't perform ground support missions. That's because the most common ground support job is dropping smart bombs. Not a lot of special skills required for that.

To support this new police, F-22 pilots will only be recruited from the F-15C community. This is the only air force warplane that specializes in air to air combat. There will never be enough F-22s to replace the 500 F-15Cs currently in service, so the air force can pick the best pilots for the new fighter.


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