AAF employs more laser-guided bombs against militants

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The Afghan Air Force has employed more laser-guided bombs against the militants after the historic and maiden employment of the sophisticated bomb against Taliban last month.

“Last month the Afghan Air Force achieved a historic milestone with the Afghan Air Force A-29s conducting their first mission involving the release of a GBU-28 laser-guided bomb against a Taliban compound in Farah Province,” the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission said in a short online statement.

The statement further adds that “They’ve conducted more than five additional missions since then. 438th Air Expeditionary Wing continues to provide Train Advise Assist through the Resolute Support Mission resulting in increased progress and self-reliance by the Afghan Air Force.” The Afghan Air Force used the bomb to target a Taliban compound in Farah province last month.

“On March 22, the Afghan Air Force tasked the A-29 squadron to destroy a Taliban compound in Farah. The Afghan attack pilots were equipped with both guided and unguided bombs, and elected to employ the GBU-58 laser-guided bomb to avoid collateral damage,” according to a report by Resolute Support Mission. This comes as efforts are underway to boost the capabilities of the Afghan armed forces, particularly the Air Forces.

“Key pieces that you’re seeing is that the Afghan Air Force itself, one of the more lethal organizations they have, and one that we’re looking to triple in size by 2023, is conducting significantly more air operations in direct support of the ANDSF on the battlefield, to the tune of 500 more sorties this year than they did the year before,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch, director of future operations, Resolute Support, in a December 2017 press conference.

Bunch also noted the Afghan forces conducted their combat operations through 2017 with the lowest level of support from the coalition forces in the 16-year war here, yet has seen some of the most success they’ve ever had.