May 2, 2015

USAF's Aviano F-16s deploy to Afghanistan

F-16s from Aviano Air Base, Italy, have deployed to Afghanistan to provide close-air support for Afghan and remaining U.S. units in the country.
The airmen and F-16s assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron landed April 27 at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, to support operations Freedom's Sentinel and Resolute Support. The unit will remain for six months.
The squadron is taking over for F-16s from the 4th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The unit arrives as U.S. aircraft have been flying fewer missions in Afghanistan. In March, aircraft conducted 52 airstrikes for a total of 128 this year. Aircraft conducted 2,363 airstrikes in all of 2014, down from a high of 5,411 in 2011.
Meanwhile, other aircraft have been increasing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. In March, U.S. and coalition aircraft conducted 1,600 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

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