Report: F-22s back in the skies without incident


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In late July, the Air Force pinpointed what it believed to be the problem: a faulty valve in its “Combat Edge” flight vest. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta eased the restrictions on the stealth fighters and ordered a redeployment of the nation’s fifth-generation, twin-engine jet fighter. 

The F-22s are currently flying under their altitude ceilings so as to avoid using flight vests, and they are staying close to emergency landing sites. There have been no further incidents, according to Brig. Gen. Matthew Molloy, commander of the 18th Fighter Wing, which is stationed at Kadena Air Base.

The deployment to Kadena on the island of Okinawa is meant to display confidence. 

However, Okinawa has an uneasy relationship with the elements of the U.S. military that it hosts; its governor, Hirokazu Nakaima, has repeatedly protested the recent deployment of the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps’s Air Station Futenma, also located on the island, over concerns that the aircraft may not be safe. The prefectural government has also passed two resolutions opposing the Osprey’s deployment.