US Army Apaches began combat strikes in Iraq on Monday, hitting an ISIS vehicle as part of the push to retake Mosul. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaking while en route to Brussels to meet with NATO defense ministers, said the combat helicopter struck a vehicle early Monday morning, reported The Associated Press. More than one Apache flew on Monday, but only one fired, he said. The Apaches have been deployed to Iraq for months, but did not start combat operations until Monday. The US has repeatedly offered the use of the helicopters in the fight against ISIS, but the Iraqi government did not previously give approval.
After a long period in which munitions were almost an afterthought and sacrificed to pay for other priorities, the Air Force needs to focus on them in order to have the right “package” of capabilities for future conflicts, Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said June 7.