US Central Command on July 19 disclosed that an Air Force F-16, flying a nontraditional ISR mission in support of ground forces in Iraq, attacked an killed an insurgent planting a roadside bomb near Baquba, Iraq. The F-16, which was in action on July 18, identified three possible IED plants on the ground and passed the information to ground forces, which verified the target and called on the F-16 to engage. It strafed the location, killing one of the insurgents. Such kills are becoming more common in the theater, say USAF officials.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.