Here is another military expansion project in Hawai’i. Senator Inouye’s strategy has been to pack as much construction and long-term capital improvements into the military budget for Hawai’i as a way to prolong the military’s presence and his influence over the shape of Hawai’i’s future long after he is gone. It’s about his legacy. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports:
The F-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s most advanced weapons system, is the only fighter capable of “simultaneously conducting air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions with near impunity,” maker Lockheed Martin says on its website.
Now, if they could only get off the ground.
The Hawaii Air National Guard and active-duty Air Force showcased the stealth aircraft Friday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where a groundbreaking was held for a $37.1 million maintenance hangar and squadron operations facility for the F-22s.
But an investigation into “hypoxia-like” symptoms — meaning not getting enough oxygen — experienced by some pilots elsewhere has left all Raptors in the Air Force inventory on stand-down since early May with no end to the grounding in sight.
F-22 improvement projects at Hickam totaling $156 million are expected to be completed through the next four to five years, officials said.
An Alaska F-22 pilot died in November when he lost control of his jet during training. The jet crashed about 100 miles north of Anchorage.