Giving a Buzz First

According to the newly installed boss of Air Forces Central, Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage III, he and the new commander of US forces and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, have agreed on a new approach for close air support to ground forces operating in Afghanistan—the fighter aircraft will first buzz a target area. Hostage told reporters of the new tactic last week. In particular, he said, that the US and NATO strategy relies greatly on the distinctive—and threatening—sound of USAF’s A-10 Warthogs. He said of the enemy, “When they hear that sound, they scatter.” As we reported earlier this summer, McChrystal issued a new tactical directive that centered on avoiding civilian casualties. (Also read The Item report and Associated Press report)