US Air Force F-15s and remotely piloted aircraft conducted an airstrike against an ISIS training camp near Sabratha, Libya, in the early morning hours of Feb. 19, killing a senior leader and likely dozens of recruits to the terror group. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the camp posed a threat to Libya and a broader threat to US interests. “We made it clear we need to confront ISIL wherever it rears its head,” Cook said during a Friday briefing. The strike was conducted by F-15s assigned to RAF Lakenheath, UK, about five years after the base launched F-15 strikes in Libya against forces during Operation Odyssey Dawn, reported the BBC. Cook declined to discuss the specific aircraft and ordnance involved, saying it included a mix of manned and unmanned assets. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement that he personally authorized the use of UK bases for the strike. Cook said the strike was authorized by President Obama after a recommendation from Defense Secretary Ash Carter. (See also: ISIS in Libya.) (Cook statement.)
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.