You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

F-22 pilots to get whistle-blower protection

May. 8, 2012 - 04:51PM   |   Last Updated: May. 8, 2012 - 04:51PM  |  
Maj. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger said the two Raptor pilots who have refused to fly the F-22 are protected under the federal whistle-blower act.
Maj. Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger said the two Raptor pilots who have refused to fly the F-22 are protected under the federal whistle-blower act. (Air Force)
  • Filed Under

The top leaders of the Air Force have issued a directive that whistle-blowing F-22 pilots will be protected and not face repercussions for coming forward, a three-star general told lawmakers Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger, the military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition and soon to take over Air Force Materiel Command, said the service considers the two pilots who have refused to fly the Raptor to be whistle-blowers and protected under the federal whistle-blower act.

"My understanding is that the chief and secretary have issued direction that these individuals are protected," Wolfenbarger said at a Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee hearing on tactical air forces.

Two F-22 pilots with the Virginia Air National Guard, Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Josh Wilson, told CBS' "60 Minutes" that they do not feel safe flying the jet due to a string of unexplained hypoxia-like incidents in the jet. The Air Force grounded the F-22 from May to September last year; since then, 11 pilots and five maintainers have complained of hypoxia oxygen deprivation that can result in dizziness, confusion, and, in some cases, unconsciousness Air Combat Command spokesman Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis said.

Wolfenbarger, who has been confirmed as the Air Force's first female four-star general and will take over AFMC in June, said it is the Air Force's position that the jet is safe to fly based on a list of risk-mitigation efforts and education and training on the jet.

"With recent data, we believe we are coming to closure on that root cause," she said.

"But, that doesn't mean we are done with all the activities to find that root cause," Wolfenbarger added.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook