Jeffrey L. Harrigian F-22 Raptor
Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian speaks to the media in a press briefing Sept. 29, 2014, at the Pentagon, about the range of capability airpower can bring to the Coalition fight against ISIL. He indicated that the Air Force engagement presents a lethal and persistent threat to ISIL forces and a clear advantage to the coalition forces who oppose them. (U.S. Air force photo/Staff Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

The U.S. Air Force used its fifth-generation F-22 Raptor in the most recent airstrike against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The strike was the combat debut for the F-22 Raptor, according to an Air Force release.

Although the F-22 brings a stealth capability and speed to the picture, the avionics system of the aircraft provides an improved capability to the warfighter and the coalition forces the United States has joined in the campaign.

“The greatest capability the F-22 brings is its integrated avionics, its’ fused avionics that facilitate situational awareness,” Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian said in a release. “It is not just for the pilot in the airplane, but really for the entire package that is going to execute the mission.”

By adding the F-22 to the available assets in the strike package it makes all the aircraft more lethal and survivable by offering more advanced protective measures. However, providing decisive effects requires maximizing the full capabilities of airpower.

“Air power offers a broad range of capabilities to the combatant commanders and ultimately the president,” Harrigian said in a release. “Beyond air strikes we will continue to provide, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, tankers, command and control platforms and humanitarian assistance as required to meet the enduring as well as the emerging requirements that will naturally occur over the course of the operation.”

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