Combat air activities in Southwest Asia—especially Afghanistan—have grown at a breakneck pace over the past several years, said Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage, US Central Command’s top airman. Close air support sorties in Afghanistan went from 20,359 in 2008 to more than 33,679 in 2010, according to Air Forces Central statistics. Meanwhile, the number of CAS sorties with weapons released held fairly steady, with 5,215 in 2008 compared to 5,101 in 2010. “The basic reality is, we hit what we aim at. We’re very careful about when and where we drop bombs,” Hostage told the Daily Report from his theater headquarters last week during a phone interview. The “tremendous” increase in intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance sorties has also been critical to the Afghan campaign, he noted.
Air Force Association
what hasn’t been understood in the mainstream is that CAS is a capability issue, its no longer a platform centric issue. ie there are a broader range of aircraft able to deliver precision munitions and undertake the CAS role – often to a danger close level of accuracy.
there are any number of SF teams that can attest to their bacon being saved by CAS delivered from non traditional assets (such as B-52’s running racetracks at altitude) that even 5-7 years ago would have not been considered possible