Washington – The United States has sent two squadrons of F-22 raptor aircraft to the Guam Island in the Pacific Ocean. The deployment is claimed to be part of the war exercise, Operation Pacific Iron, starting in the next few days. But former officials and military analysts say the United States has issued a warning to China by sending several fighter jets to the Pacific. Meanwhile, amid rising tensions with China, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is reportedly set to visit the Philippines, Vietnam and Singapore, later this month.
A few hours ago, the US Air Force deployed about twenty-five F-22 stealth aircraft at three airports on the island of Guam. In addition, ten F-15E Strike Eagles fighters, two C-130J Hercules cargo planes and about 800 personnel have arrived for the Operation Pacific Iron 2021 exercise. This is considered the largest deployment to date for the practice, which is being held in the Guam and Tinian islands. General Kenneth Wilsbach, Chief of the US Pacific Air Force Command, said, ‘Such a large deployment of F-22s in the Pacific Air Force has never been done in the past’.
The deployment is intended to show that the US military, which is responsible for the Indo-Pacific region, is ready to deal with the dangerous situation. The US Pacific Command said that the exercise is being held within the framework of the National Security Strategy of 2018. The F-22 raptor is known as one of the fifth generation and one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The US Air Force has a total of 180 such aircraft. China has only 24 Chengdu J-20s, which are claimed to be of the fifth generation.
‘The US Pacific Air Force has delivered a message to China that the United States can deploy more aircraft than the fifth-generation aircraft in the Chinese Air Force, in the area, in the shortest time.’ Carl Schuster, former head of the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Centre, told a US news channel. ‘The United States is reassuring its allies and partner countries through this deployment and Operation Pacific Iron.’
Lieutenant General Daniel Leaf, a former US Air Force officer, warned, ‘The US Air Force had shown similar capabilities and preparedness in World War I. China cannot emulate this. If I were China, I would have taken this US deployment more seriously. It is not a normal operation, but an extensive deployment’.
Meanwhile, movements of the Chinese military in the Indo-Pacific region have intensified over the past few months. China, threatening Japan and Taiwan, had sent its aircraft carriers towards the US island of Guam. At the same time, military analysts from the Communist Party of China (CPC) have threatened that their anti-ship missiles will submerge US aircraft carriers. There were reports that China was increasing its nuclear arsenal and also deploying it. Against this background, the United States has deployed F-22 aircraft on the island of Guam.