Coalition aircraft flew 54 close air support missions in Afghanistan and 48 in Iraq on the final day of June, Air Forces Central announced yesterday. A-10s, B-1Bs, and F-15Es remained active in the skies over Afghanistan, with A-10s attacking anti-Afghan government forces with 500-pound laser-guided bombs in Bagram and with rockets near Bari Kowt. B-1Bs struck enemy forces with 500-pound joint direct attack munitions near Deh Chopan and in Khowst. And F-15Es used 500-pound and 2,000-pound JDAMs against enemy combatants near Bari Kowt. Khas Konar, Nagalam, and Worzhanah Kalay, AFCENT said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.