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Military Capabilities

B-52 bombers re-join US campaign in Afghanistan

18 August 2016

US Air Force (USAF) Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers have carried out airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in a decade, USAF Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein said in a 16 August press release.

"We got the B-52 back in the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Gen Goldfein. "We have the B-52 contributing to a significant ground effort and employing weapons in close proximity of friendly troops who are under attack [and] who are preparing the battlefield in new ways," he added.

According to press release, the USAF B-52H detachment at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar has flown nearly 270 sorties since April, employing over 1,300 weapons in more than 325 strikes in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq.

In addition, the strategic bomber recently flew two sorties in Afghanistan, employing 27 weapons in two strikes in support of counter-terrorism operations. The USAF, however, did not specify when exactly B-52H operations over Afghanistan resumed.

Since US President Barack Obama ordered in June that air power be used more proactively in Afghanistan, the USAF has flown over 800 sorties and conducted more than 140 strikes in the country, said the service.

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Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers (similar to this one) have carried out air strikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in a decade, according to the US Air Force. (Gareth Jennings)Boeing B-52H Stratofortress bombers (similar to this one) have carried out air strikes against targets in Afghanistan for the first time in a decade, according to the US Air Force. (Gareth Jennings)



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