Air Force Secretary Michael Donley this week shed a tiny bit more light on the whole mystery surrounding the lack of an appearance by the F-22 Raptor in the skies above Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn, saying the plane would have been used if it was needed.
Donley told a reporter at a Tuesday morning breakfast in Washington that the plane would have flown in Libya if its capabilities were viewed as a requirement for the operation. When pressed for more on what capabilities were needed, he waited a few seconds before saying, "multirole, maybe?"
This makes a lot of sense given the fact that the Libyan op turned into an air-to-ground fight pretty fast and the F-22 is optimized for high-end air-to-air combat.
This comes about a week after Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told lawmakers that the F-22 was left out of Libya due to the fact that it was based too far from the operation compared to older fighters that were already based in Europe.
Former Air Force ISR chief Lt. Gen. David Deptula wasn't buying that explanation and offered his own take here.