The F-22 Missing in Action: Why?


4/30/11 That is the question we pose to start our new Sound Off Column on our companion Website, The Second Line of Defense Forum (http:///

The F-22 could clearly have been used in the Libyan operation.  Among the many benefits of its use would have been a significantly reduced operational footprint, a wider range of national command authority options, and enhanced impact of the deployed force.

Credit: USAF

The fact that it was not used could have been based on not wanting to display capabilities in this operation that have more impact on a different operational envelope.  It could have been based on not exposing its performance to the Chinese ship deployed in the region.But the reasons stated for not using the F-22 in Libya are puzzling indeed.

We are creating a Sound Off column in honor of our friend John Wheeler.  The column will appear throughout the month, and contributors are invited to provide a candidate Sound Off essay.

John Wheeler, USMA 66, served in Vietnam 1969-70 and in four tours in the Pentagon for four Presidents. He prepared the first Joint Munitions Effectiveness tables for nuclear and biological weapons which undergirded National Security Decision Memorandum 35 to forego US use of Biological weapons. He served as Special Assistant to the 21st Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne, with work focused on Cyber Warfighting and Precision Strike. He chaired the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Vietnam Wall in DC, and was first Chairman and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He is Chairman of the new American Warfighters Fund, a charity which addresses key unmet needs of America’s active duty personnel, veterans and their families. John met a tragic death and the end of 2010 and we refuse to forget John or his contribution to our lives.  With this column, we intend to keep his moral conscience alive and informing our lives and the public issues for the nation.