Air Force strike aircraft participated in the initial wave of attacks against Libyan military targets. Following the US and British cruise missile attack on Libyan air defense sites that launched Operation Odyssey Dawn on Saturday, three B-2 stealth bombers, flying from their home station at Whiteman AFB, Mo., struck Libyan airfields on Sunday. They flattened hardened shelters used to protect Libyan combat aircraft, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, Joint Staff director, told reporters Sunday. Four F-15Es and eight F-16CJs also flew in the opening strikes, said Air Force officials. “Our bombers and fighters performed magnificently,” said Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, 17th Air Force commander and joint force air component commander for Odyssey Dawn. KC-135s from RAF Mildenhall, England, supported the strike aircraft. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone) (Mildenhall photo caption by SrA. Tabitha M. Lee) (Ramstein release) (Whiteman photo caption by SrA. Kenny Holston)
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.