Since the combat debut of the Joint Direct Attack Munition, the weapon has been used more than 15,000 times and is a weapon of choice for airmen in the Global War on Terror. The JDAM is a tail kit that turns an unguided bomb into a smart munition, according to Air Force journalist SSgt. Ryan Hansen of the Air Armament Center at Eglin AFB, Florida. The JDAM will also be one of the first weapons to be Universal Armament Interface compliant, a new technology that will allow the Air Force and Navy to integrate new precision munitions upgrades onto aircraft without major chances to software.
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.