Aircraft with the US-led coalition targeting ISIS conducted 1,982 airstrikes in March, about 300 more than this time last year. So far in 2016, aircraft have conducted 6,730 total strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria—a rate that is expected to stay steady if not increase with the new deployment of B-52s to the coalition. Tanker sorties have stayed steady as well, with 194 million pounds of fuel offloaded through 3,129 total sorties and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft flew 2,117 sorties so far this year, according to statistics from US Air Forces Central Command. Much of the airpower is focused on the ISIS-held stronghold of Mosul. “The air coalition continues to apply pressure on the Da’esh presence in and around Mosul by continuing to strike their military capabilities,” AFCENT said in a release. “Coalition airpower have struck Da’esh in the Mosul area more than any other area this month, this year, and during the entire campaign.” Meanwhile, aircraft in Afghanistan in March conducted 58 airstrikes, a dramatic drop off from 115 the month before. Contributing to this reduction is the new deployment of Afghan A-29 Super Tucano light air support aircraft.
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.