JULY 1, 2016, SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) – The head of U.S. Air Forces Central Command took time June 28 to discuss the impact airpower has had in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and throughout the region during a visit with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.
“Airpower allows us to apply pressure, to execute the mission, and also helps to deter and defend the region from other potential adversaries or contingencies,” said Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.
Well into the wing’s 14th year at its undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, a change of command ceremony in which Brig. Gen. Daniel Orcutt passed the reigns to Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran presented Brown with an opportunity to highlight the 380th AEW’s contributions to the AFCENT mission.
“I’ve got three priorities: deliver airpower, defend the region and develop relationships,” Brown said. “Delivering airpower comes in many different forms, and the 380th touches every mission set, whether it’s strike, whether it’s air refueling, whether it’s command and control, or (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). We really can’t do many of the things we do without all those capabilities, and the 380th has all of them and they do great work.”
With a diverse inventory of fighter, refueling and reconnaissance aircraft, the 380th AEW has flown over 72,000 hours, delivered 253 million pounds of fuel to the air coalition, imaged 142,000 targets, and employed over 4,000 weapons with a 98 percent hit rate since June 2015.
The air coalition can deliver a precision strike with multiple weapons inside of 10 feet and roughly 99 percent of the weapons employed in Operation Inherent Resolve are precision guided, according to Brown. This capability enables the coalition to strike more lucrative targets such as logistics, command and control, weapons manufacturing areas, ISIL financial resources, and oil facilities with greater effect.
“Precision-guided munitions allow us to do several things. One — to hit the target we’re aiming at, and two — to minimize civilian casualties. That’s something we spend a lot of time and energy on in planning and execution, and by being precise we don’t have to employ as many weapons,” Brown said. “That’s hugely important to moving the campaign forward.”
Operating daily alongside coalition partners, the 380th AEW achieves U.S. Central Command mission priorities across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.
“The 380th provides AFCENT and CENTCOM with a potent complement of Airmen, joint and coalition partners, that are instrumental to the delivery of precise airpower effects that are not only affecting (ISIL’s) capabilities, but are also having an impact in a number of operations across the region,” Brown said.