Boeing has delivered 1,000 Small Diameter Bomb 1 munitions, according to a Feb. 28 company release marking the event. “SDB is a great program that provides extremely effective weapons capability to current and future warfighters,” said Boeing Weapons Programs VP Debra Rub-Zenko, crediting the USAF-Boeing SDB team for the program’s success. Col. Richard Justice, commander of the 918th Armament Systems Group at Eglin AFB, Fla., acknowledged the SDB’s “great reputation” within DOD as a “model weapon-acquisition program.” The Air Force plans to purchase more than 24,000 of the precision SDBs, which can be fitted to every US fighter and bomber. The 49th Fighter Squadron, which deployed to Southwest Asia in late 2006 from RAF Lakenheath, Britain, was the first unit to employ the SDB in combat.
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.