US Air Force conducts airstrikes with F-35 for first time ever
Date: 2019-05-01 10:15
The US Air Force has finally flown its variant of the F-35 in combat, using two of the aircraft to take out an ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache in Iraq on April 30.
Tuesday’s airstrikes — the first US use of the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing model at war — follow the combat employment Israel Defense Forces’ F-35As in May 2018 and US Marine Corps’ F-35Bs in September 2018.
According to US Air Forces Central Command, the airstrike occurred at Wadi Ashai, in northeast Iraq. An April 24 news release from US Central Command stated that ISIS fighters “have been attempting to move munitions, equipment and personnel” to Wadi Ashai in order to “set conditions for their resurgence,” prompting a counter-offensive by Iraqi Security Forces and supported by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
“The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces,” stated the AFCENT release, which used an alternative name for ISIS.