March 19, 2011

Coalition forces launch US-led Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler, including enforcing a no-fly zone. Three B-2 bombers, flying from Whiteman AFB, Mo., and four F-15Es and eight F-16CJs are among the first wave of strike forces, following US and British cruise missile attacks on Libyan air defense sites. USAF Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, commander of 17th Air Force, serves as joint force air component commander. In all US forces would fly more than 600 strike missions out of a total of some 1,600 sorties overall, including aerial refueling and airlift sorties.