Crews Return From Japan

Alamogordo – The crews and pilots of 12 F-22A Raptors have returned to Holloman Air Force Base after a four-month deployment to Japan.

The 7th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron returned Friday. Members from the 49th Maintenance Group, 49th Operations Group, 49th Mission Support Group and the 44th Fighter Group left May 27 for the first deployment of the F-22 to the Pacific Region in Holloman history.

About 250 airmen accompanied the Raptors on the training mission. Crews used advanced techniques to ensure the heat and humidity of the Japanese island didn't affect stealthy paint on the aircraft.

Before this deployment, crews from the southern New Mexico base last went to the western Pacific in 2007 when the 9th Fighter Squadron began a three-month deployment to South Korea with the F-117 Nighthawk.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.