The US-led coalition and its Iraqi counterparts have brought down almost a dozen drones used by ISIS to both collect reconnaissance and drop munitions on Iraqi troops, the coalition said. US Army Col. Brett Sylvia, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division responsible for the train, advise, and assist mission in Iraq, said during a Wednesday briefing that the coalition has seen the amount of the drones increase as Iraqi troops have advanced into the city of Mosul. “What we’ve seen is that they use the smaller drones, the quad-copter things, with a much shorter ability to project them out,” Sylvia said. “They’re up for 45 minutes, an hour or so and even that evolution has transitioned in the beginning of the Mosul campaign from just reconnaissance to they are actually putting munitions and dropping munitions on the ISF.” The coalition has “technical capabilities” to bring them down, coupled with Iraq direct fire weapons. “As a result of us working together hand-in-hand, we’ve been able to bring down these ISIL drones and we have made them much less effective than they were in the beginning.”
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.