All US troops serving in Iraq will be “home for the holidays,” announced President Obama Friday. “Today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” said Obama following a discussion with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki Friday morning. Obama said, “The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops. That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.” More than one million US troops have deployed to Iraq at least once since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March 2003. More than 32,200 US military personnel have been wounded and 4,482 have lost their lives there, according to the Pentagon. The United States will continue to offer training and assistance to the Iraqi forces, just as it does to its other allies around the world, said Obama. “This will be a strong and enduring partnership, with our diplomats and civilian advisers in the lead,” he said. (Obama remarks) (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)
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.