USAF Carrying the Load in the Anti-ISIS Fight

More than two years into the fight against ISIS, USAF aircraft are still flying 60-70 percent of all the strikes and will continue to provide the “lion’s share” of the capability needed as the fight moves toward ISIS strongholds of Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, the head of Air Combat Command said Tuesday. “We have to win the fight,” ACC chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle said at ASC16. “We have no choice.” The Air Force is stretched thin, but it will continue to meet the capacity needs for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, Carlisle said. The combined air operations center in the region still talks to Russia every day to deconflict air operations, to varying effectiveness. “The Russians are the Russians … Sometimes they are very forthcoming, other times less so,” Carlisle said. It does not look likely that the US and Russia will coordinate operations in Syria, especially as the recent ceasefire appears to have crumbled, Carlisle said.