A significant part of President Donald Trump’s military strategy to achieve victory in Afghanistan is a widely stepped-up air campaign against the Taliban and other allied terrorist organizations in the war-torn country.
According to Independent Journal Review, that air campaign includes the use of the gargantuan B-52 Stratofortress bomber to rain down high explosive ordnance upon the heads of our enemies, wherever they may be.
The U.S. Air Force just released some incredible combat footage of a massive and record-setting airstrike by a B-52 against a known Taliban training camp perched along a ridge line in the mountains. Needless to say, it was completely obliterated by the time the smoke cleared.
According to the Air Force Times, that Feb. 4 airstrike “took out three defensive fighting positions around the camp, degrading the Taliban’s ability to conduct training and operations.”
In that bombing run, “24 precision-guided munitions were dropped, the most ever launched by a B-52.”
According to Task and Purpose, B-52 bombers previously only had room to carry about 16 precision-guided bombs, but thanks to some recent modifications made to the venerable aircraft at the Al Uedid Air Base in Qatar, the payload for those massive munitions was increased to 24 total bombs.
In addition to the increased tempo of B-52 airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. has also doubled the number of MQ-9 Reaper drones deployed for “intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” missions.
On top of that, the Air Force also deployed a squadron of a dozen A-10 Thunderbolt “Warthog” jets to provide close air support for our boots on the ground fighting the terrorists.
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But lost among the news of more Reaper drones, B-52 bomber airstrikes and strafing runs from A-10s is the admission that one of the biggest weapons in our nation’s arsenal is on standby and waiting to be used against terrorists in Afghanistan, again, if necessary.
That weapon would be the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, better known as the MOAB, which was used for the first time ever in 2017 to wipe out a suspected group of Islamic State group terrorists taking cover in a complex of caves and tunnels in the mountains.
Even though there hasn’t been an obvious need since then to use the 21,600-pound GPS-guided bomb, “It’s there if we need it,” stated Air Force Maj. Gen. James Hecker, commander of all coalition air forces in Afghanistan.
“We never take anything off the table. Right now, we don’t have a use for it, but if we do, it’s there for us,” Hecker told reporters Wednesday at the Pentagon.
The general also joked about the reaction from his mother when she heard media reports about the MOAB being dropped last year.
“Quite honestly, after only being here a week and my mom heard that a MOAB was dropped, she immediately sent me a note and asked if I was OK,” recalled Hecker. “I let her know that we won’t drop on ourselves. This is meant for the enemy.”
So there you have it folks, the Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan are running out of places to hide from the all-seeing eyes of our Reaper drones, the fearsome Gatling gun of our A-10s, the high-explosive steel rain dropped from our B-52s or the earth-shattering blast of a MOAB bomb … as well they should, and good riddance.
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