The Air Force deployed three armed fighter jets from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam over the weekend for what the service called an “irregular air patrol.”
The Federal Aviation Administration contacted the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to request that it deploy the warplanes, according to Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Capt. Veronica Perez.
The 154th Wing launched two F-22 Raptors at about 4 p.m. Sunday and another at approximately 5 p.m. A KC-135 Stratotanker, which refuels other aircraft in the air during extended flights, also joined the F-22s, Perez said in an email.
However, the Air Force provided no other details about why the FAA asked for the planes or what they were responding to, saying only that the “situation resolved” and the planes returned to base afterward.
“We cannot discuss further specifics of the situation,” said Perez.
The last time the FAA requested a support flight from the Oahu-based planes was a 2017 incident in which two F-22s escorted an American Airlines flight from California because of a passenger trying to force his way to the front of the plane. The FBI took the passenger into custody upon landing.
The 154th Wing is part of the Hawaii Air National Guard but works actively with the Air Force and provides most of the islands’ security. It has F-22 pilots on call 24 hours a day at Hickam for rapid-responses to potential threats to the Hawaiian islands.
Kevin Knodell reported on the military and veterans for Civil Beat as a corps member for Report For America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover underreported topics.