The US conducted defensive airstrikes in Somalia on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28 in support of the efforts of the Somali government and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to defeat al-Shabaab, the Al Qaeda affiliate in the Horn of Africa, said Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis on Thursday. On Sept. 26, after Somali forces were attacked by al-Shabaab fighters near Kismayo, a US airstrike killed four enemy fighters. On Sept. 28, US and AMISOM forces were working to disrupt an IED factory near Galkayo when they came under small arms fire from al-Shabaab militants, and a US airstrike killed nine enemy fighters. Davis declined to identify the airframes involved in the strikes, but he said that no Americans were injured in either action. According to Davis, the ongoing mission in Somalia consists of “a small number of US personnel” committed to separate missions of support for the Somali government and AMISOM. (See also: US Conducts Defensive Strikes in Somalia and US Strikes al-Shabaab Leader.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.