The Air Force dropped more than 1,700 munitions in 2006 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, a dramatic increase from 176 munitions in 2005. Lt. Gen. Gary North, head of US Central Command Air Forces, credits better intelligence for the increase. The general told Pentagon reporters that the US military’s “great collaboration” with both Afghani and Iraqi forces contributes to better intelligence about insurgents.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.