Airpower Usage Climbs in OEF:

According to statistics provided by US Central Command Air Forces, this year (as of June 1) and last year show a dramatic rise compared to the two previous years for close air support sorties flown in Afghanistan’s Operation Enduring Freedom. The data for Operation Iraqi Freedom CAS sorties has been relatively constant—still higher than those flown for OEF, but the gap is narrowing. For 2004 and 2005, the number of CAS sorties flown in Afghanistan was less than half those flown in Iraq. In 2006 that difference dropped to about 33 percent, and so far this year, it’s only about 25 percent. And, the number of munitions dropped in Afghanistan spiked in 2006, rising from 176 in 2005 to 1,770 for 2006. Through the first five months of 2007, coalition forces have dropped 1,032, far surpassing even the 2006 rate.