A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, America’s longest-serving bomber, set a new record when it unleashed hell against terrorists on a combat mission in Afghanistan last month, according to the Department of Defense.
During an expanded strike mission, B-52 bombers dropped 19 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) on the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Air Forces Central Command spokeswoman Capt. AnnMarie Annicelli told Military.com. The strategic bombers were targeting opium and heroin facilities to cripple the revenue stream.
The Air Force “used B-52s with their new conventional rotary launcher,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, the director of NATO’s Resolute Support mission explained Tuesday. “Of note, it was the single most — largest number of precision munitions ever dropped from a B-52.”
Bunch revealed that the U.S. military now has the authority to take the fight to the enemy in a new way. Under the Trump administration, the military now has greater freedom and independence with regard to how it chooses to engage the enemy.
“The new strategy highlights that this is a new war,” he told reporters Tuesday. “The gloves are off. We’ve got now these authorities we need to be able to go and target the Taliban network … That is our new strategy going forward and it’s definitely been a game-changer and the Taliban is definitely feeling it.”
“All the areas where they thought they were safe and they are no longer so,” he said.
Since the start of this year, B-52 bombers have dropped around 1,500 unguided and guided munitions on enemy combatants, AFCENT told Military.com.
The fight in Afghanistan has raged for 16 years, and despite American efforts, the Taliban still has a tight hold on Afghanistan. A little less than half of Afghanistan’s districts are either controlled by the Taliban or contested, Reuters reported in October, citing a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
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