After more than a year of airstrikes, the US military and coalition partners are beginning to see progress in the fight against the Islamic State group, Pentagon officials say.

But these gains could not have happened without the airmen of the 37th Bomb Squadron and their fleet of B-1B Lancers, who recently spent six months in the Middle East supporting coalition forces.

From last July to January, Lt. Col. Joe, who requested anonymity for his security and that of his family, commanded the squadron while it was deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. Joe and his 350 B-1 pilots, weapons officers and maintainers operated 24-hour-a-day surveillance over Iraq and Syria, providing support to the coalition forces on the ground and the air component commanders in the region.

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Image courtesy of US Air Force