JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 525th Fighter Squadron (FS) recently won the 2021 Raytheon Trophy, which is awarded to the best air-to-air fighter squadron in the United States Air Force, taking the lead in advancing the baseline air-to-air threat to a peer level adversary.
“[The 525th FS] flawlessly executed this mission with multiple real-world operations, evaluations and exercises while simultaneously maintaining 24/7/365 alert presence as one of only two active-duty squadrons in the Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Jamieson, commander of the 3rd Wing. “I am incredibly honored to see the Bulldogs receive this recognition.”
The squadron’s mission is to provide sustainable air dominance for combatant commanders – one of two in the Air Force tasked with North American Aerospace Defense Command’s homeland-defense mission.
Polar Force, a 3rd Wing readiness exercise and the first-ever Pacific Air Forces Inspector General evaluation of the Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept, began in early April. The exercise refined ACE execution, logistics and communication while integrating 3rd Wing airlift, airborne command and control, and fighter squadrons to combat advanced air-to-air threats.
In July, the 525th FS Bulldogs, with 295 personnel and 14 jets, deployed to Guam in support of Operation PACIFIC IRON, where they were lead planners. Their success in multiple exercises and contingency operations such as POLAR FORCE, DISTANT FRONTIER, and IDITAROD contributed to this win. The tactics, techniques, and procedures gained from the lessons learned were published in the latest F-22 Raptor tactics manual.
Another accomplishment of the 525th was placing 15th out of 184 in Spark Tank 2021, an annual Department of the Air Force competition in which Airmen and Guardians pitch innovative solutions to operational problems.
The 525 FS also were recipients of 11 quarterly group awards, one quarterly wing award, and two annual wing award winners.
“The men and women of the Bulldogs have consistently supported multiple lines of effort simultaneously,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Tromans, 525th FS commander. “[They] balanced sometimes competing priorities, all while training to enable air superiority against a peer threat.”
The Bulldogs’ primary job is to provide sustainable air defense from America’s ultimate high ground, Alaska.
Tromans said the squadron’s Airmen have risen to the occasion time and time again and had zero major discrepancies in their first outside inspection.
“The 525 FS selection for the 69th Raytheon Trophy, a first for the Bulldogs and only the third F-22 squadron awarded, is a recognition of those efforts,” Tromans said.