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F-22 Raptor
An F-22 Raptor from Tyndall AFB, Fla., lands at Vance, Dec. 3, for refueling. While the aircraft was on base, Team Vance members got a close-up look at the Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Kyle Osborn)
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Team Vance gets close-up look at F-22 Raptor

Posted 12/8/2009   Updated 12/8/2009 Email story   Print story


by 2nd Lt. Christopher Buzzetta
71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

12/8/2009 - VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor landed at Vance Dec. 3 to refuel while en route to Tyndall AFB, Fla. from Hill AFB, Utah, where the aircraft was in depot maintenance.

The pilot, Maj. Kevin "Boone" Cruson, with the 43rd Fighter Squadron at Tyndall AFB, made the aircraft available for student pilots to see up close.

A group of about 40 people made their way out to the flight line, most of them students who are in pilot training or awaiting pilot training. They asked questions while the plane refueled. Most questions centered on the pilot's experiences in the aircraft and how to get an F-22 flying slot. Later, Major Cruson led a walk-around tour of the airplane while others viewed the cockpit.

Major Cruson is an Air Force ROTC graduate from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. After earning his commission, he went to Sheppard AFB, Texas for Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training in 2000. He was initially assigned to F-16s before cross-training into F-22s.

The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

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