This week’s strike against Islamic State militants in Syria by the United States marked the first time that the Pentagon has deployed its F-22 Raptor jets into combat, the Defense Department acknowledged on Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the director of ops for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged during a Department of Defense briefing on Tuesday morning that the strikes launched by the US hours earlier were the first ever to involve F-22s — a fifth-generation aircraft that’s capable of dropping precisions bombs on targets from 15 miles away.
“What we were looking at were the effects we wanted to see on the target areas and what platforms in the region would be best suited to do that,” Mayville told reporters at the Pentagon. “We had a large menu of targets to strike from and we chose from there. Really it’s less the platform then the effects we seek.”