Libyan Force Numbers

The Air Force had as many as 89 aircraft involved in the Libyan no-fly zone operation in the last couple of weeks, but now that it’s “out” of the main role in Operation Odyssey Dawn, that number has declined to about 39, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Tuesday. “The current picture is about 39 support aircraft for the US piece,” flying tanker, intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance, and other kinds of missions, said Donley during a meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C. “We had about 50 aircraft involved in the strike operations in the past couple of weeks. So, on the US side, about 89 aircraft” involved in the NFZ, he said. As to what has become of the 50 aircraft no longer enforcing the NFZ or flying strike missions, Donley said they likely have returned to their “US Air Forces [in] Europe” bases, and they “may be in reserve” for future operations, if called on.