Raptor Pilot: This is Bravo Six to Andrews, Shepherd One has left our ADIZ!"
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors protected Pope Francis’s Boeing 777 during his US tour.
Oct 02 2015
By Dario Leone
A photo unveiled the presence of two Raptors close to “Shepherd One.”
During Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, the U.S. government carried out one of the largest domestic protective security operations in its history.
In fact, each U.S. military branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service (which is usually tasked to protect US president and vice president), and local-state police departments, joined together conducting a huge escort operation to safeguard the Pope from a wide variety of attack possibilities.
As unveiled by Ian D’Costa in his article “America Deployed its Best Fighter to Cover the Pope’s Tour of the Country,” on Tacairnet.com, it seems that this impressive contingent also included the Lockheed Martin F-22, the U.S. Air Force fifth generation stealth fighter.
Indeed, as reported by D’Costa, shortly after Pope’s American Airlines Boeing 777 departed from New York heading to Philadelphia, a planespotter named Robert Dube, took a picture of an Airbus taking off from John F. Kennedy international airport with a KC-10 Extender refuelling a pair of F-22s in the background (top image).