Under normal circumstances, a loaned item is one which is used…and then returned. I’m not exactly sure how you loan a piece of expendable ordnance; but hey…if our coalition partners in the fight against Daesh are running short on their own supply of bombs and still have the resolve to keep pressing the fight, then arm ’em up! And it seems as though that’s exactly what the Air Force has been doing.
The Air Force and coalition partners in the air war against the Islamic State are not only sharing intelligence, runways and strategic plans, they’re also sharing bombs.
Coalition jets having been taking from the U.S. stockpiles as needed, said Lt. Gen. John Raymond, deputy chief of staff for operations at Headquarters Air Force.
“We do have relationships with our coalition partners for those supplies; they are using those weapons as well,” Raymond told reporters Thursday at a defense writer’s briefing in Washington, D.C.
While the Air Force is not immediately concerned with depleting its stockpiles, “it is something we are managing very closely to make sure … we have the supplies to do what we need to do today,” he said.
The service, flying more than half the total sorties under Operation Inherent Resolve, has dropped 4,748 bombs so far in 2016; in 2015, aircraft released approximately 28,675 weapons, according to statistics from Air Forces Central Command.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said earlier this year that the Defense Department is running low on precision bombs and missiles. The fiscal 2017 budget requests $1.8 billion to buy 45,000 smart bombs and other guided munitions to replenish supplies in the continuing air campaign against Islamic State militants.
The U.S. is responsible for the most targeted strikes against ISIS. The coalition includes Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
The original article at the Air Force Times can be viewed right here.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Released)