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F-22 Raptor formal training unit makes Virginia its permanent home

An F-22 and 3 F-86 Sabres. (Source: 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
An F-22 and 3 F-86 Sabres. (Source: 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 7:06 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The United States Air Force has decided to permanently locate the F-22 Raptor formal training unit (FTU) at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia.

This decision to rebase will bring 31 F-22 and 16 other aircraft to Virginia along with 700 skilled military and civilian personnel and contractors.

Governor Ralph Northam, along with a bipartisan array of Virginian politicians, had lobbied to make Joint Base Langley-Eustis the F-22 FTU’s new home in 2019 after Hurricane Michael displaced the program from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, according to a press release from Northam’s office.

“We are thrilled to welcome the F-22 Raptor formal training unit to our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “Home to a significant number of military installations with critical national security missions and operations, there is no place that welcomes service members more warmly than the Hampton Roads region. Langley-Eustis is the right choice, with the ideal environment to achieve the maintenance and supply efficiencies that are critical to successful F-22 squadron training. This move is good for the Air Force and the Langley-Eustis community, and demonstrates that Virginia is best suited to host this mission and the next generation of air dominance fighter aircraft.”

Joint Base Langley-Eustis is already home to the Virginia Air National Guard 192 fighter wing which flies F-22 and has experience instructors who can support the FTU.

“I am proud to welcome the F-22 Flight and Maintenance Formal Training Unit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis and Hampton Roads,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D), who represents Virginia’s second district. “This decision from the Air Force and the Department of Defense sends a strong message about our community’s commitment to active duty personnel, our veterans, and their families.”

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