An Air Force F-22 Raptor takes off during a demonstration at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.
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Screaming through the air along southern Virginia's coast, the Air Force's F-22 Raptor routinely puts on a dazzling show of loops, dives and combat maneuvers designed to bedevil and defeat opponents before they ever know it's there.In the nearly 10 months the Raptor has been flying combat missions against ISIS militants, the F-22 fighters have flown just 204 sorties.Air Force leaders and the pilots who fly the F-22 say, however, that the Iraq and Syria deployments have given them greater insights into how well it can sweep up information about enemies beyond the horizon and spread that intelligence to the fighters moving in to strike targets on the ground.Maj. Cameron, a pilot who deployed to Iraq earlier this year to fly the F-22, is with the Virginia Air National Guard's 192nd Fighter Wing. He flew one combat mission in Iraq, doing a six-hour sortie escorting and guiding other fighters. His last name is being withheld at the request of the Air Force, in order to protect the identity of pilots who fly missions against ISIS. During that mission, the F-22 dropped bombs on an ISIS command-and-control building in Raqqa, destroying it.
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