F-22 units are frequently deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. In February 2007, on the aircraft's first overseas deployment to Kadena Air Base, six F-22s of 27th Fighter Squadron flying from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, experienced multiple software-related system failures while crossing the International Date Line (180th meridian of longitude). The aircraft returned to Hawaii by following tanker aircraft. Within 48 hours, the error was resolved and the journey resumed. In early 2013, F-22s were involved in U.S.-South Korean military drills.
In November 2007, F-22s of 90th Fighter Squadron performed their first NORAD interception of two Russian Tu-95MS "Bear-H" bombers over Alaska. Since then, F-22s have also escorted probing Tu-160 "Blackjack" bombers. The first pair of F-22s assigned to the 49th Fighter Wing became operational at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, in June 2008. In 2014, Holloman F-22s and their support personnel were reassigned to the reactivated 95th Fighter Squadron at Tyndall AFB.
Secretary of Defense Gates initially refused to deploy F-22s to the Middle East in 2007. The type made its first deployment in the region at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE in 2009. In April 2012, F-22s have been rotating into Al Dhafra Air Base, less than 200 miles from Iran; the Iranian defense minister referred to the deployment as a security threat. In March 2013 the USAF announced that an F-22 had chased off an Iranian F-4 Phantom II that approached within 16 miles of an MQ-1 Predator flying off the Iranian coastline.
In June 2014, F-22s from the 199th Fighter Squadron of the Hawaii Air National Guard were deployed to Malaysia to participate in the Cope Taufan 2014 exercise conducted by the USAF Pacific Air Forces and Royal Malaysian Air Force.
On 22 September 2014, F-22s performed the type's first combat sorties during the American-led intervention in Syria; a number of aircraft dropped 1,000-pound GPS-guided bombs on Islamic State targets in the vicinity of Tishrin Dam. Combat operations by F-22s are planned to continue into the foreseeable future. While some missions involve striking targets, the F-22's main role is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) gathering. By January 2015, the F-22 accounted for three percent of Air Force sorties during Operation Inherent Resolve. General Mike Hostage of ACC said the USAF used tactics, techniques, and procedures to overcome the disparity between the F-22's communications abilities and other assets during the deployment, and that it performed "flawlessly", despite combat operations not being the most challenging. Between September 2014 and July 2015, F-22s flew 204 sorties over Syria, dropping 270 bombs at some 60 locations. On 23 June 2015, a pair of F-22s performed the aircraft's first close air support (CAS) mission after receiving a short-notice request for airstrikes in close proximity to friendly forces.
In late 2014, the USAF was testing a rapid deployment concept involving four F-22s and one C-17 for support, first proposed in 2008 by two F-22 pilots. The goal was for the type to be able to set up and engage in combat within 24 hours. Four F-22s were deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany in August and Lask Air Base in Poland and Amari Air Base in Estonia in September 2015 to train with NATO allie.