A B-1B bomber destroyed an al Qaeda torture compound and prison with six 500-pound JDAMs during a coordinated strike with Iraqi and coalition forces March 10 in Zenbaraniyah, Iraq, south of Baghdad. “The airstrike removed “the last remnants of al Qaeda from this area,” said Army Lt. Col. Mark Solomon, commander of the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Squadron. The compound consisted of three buildings along with several small shelters near the back of the compound. The facilities had been used for torture of the locals, with handcuffs hooked to the walls and bare wires plugged into outlets nearby. “It was great to be part of this,” said SrA. Joseph Aton, an Air Force joint terminal attack controller deployed from Ft. Hood, Tex., who directed the B-1B. “You can tell the people were happy to have this place gone and it was awesome to make a difference for them.” Indeed, as coalition forces left the area, villagers stood on the side of the road cheering and clapping to be rid of al Qaeda, according to the release. (USAF report by TSgt. Joel Langton)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.