Libya Lesson Learned

Operation Odyssey Dawn was a poster child for maintaining forward basing, Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, head of 17th Air Force/Air Forces Africa and air commander of the operation, told reporters Wednesday. “We talk all the time about … global reach, and I think we become a little bit insular by saying we can do everything by reachback,” she said. But Libya was “a great wake-up call … if we didn’t have forward basing, I feel very confident that we would not have prevented Qaddafi from entering Benghazi,” and the slaughter of thousands of civilians might not have been averted. “Everybody needs to think in those terms and how important … how much insurance we get from having forward-based assets.”