Coalition forces launch U.S.-led Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people from the country’s ruler, including enforcing a no-fly zone. Three B-2 bombers, flying from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and four F-15Es and eight F-16CJs are among the first wave of strike forces, following U.S. and British cruise missile attacks on Libyan air defense sites. USAF Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward, commander of 17th Air Force, serves as joint force air component commander. In all, U.S. forces would fly more than 600 strike missions out of a total of some 1,600 sorties, including aerial refueling and airlift sorties.
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.