'Show of Force' Flights Grow

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An interesting item published by Inside the Air Force claims that the use of Show of Force flights is on the rise.

Ground troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are increasingly calling for low-level combat aircraft presence during combat operations, in an attempt to help quell violence and reduce the number of civilian casualties associated with bombing urban environments

The tactic -- known as a show-of-force -- has become such a vital tool in the Air Forces counterinsurgency operations that tactical air controllers preparing for deployment are practicing the technique during stateside training missions, officials both overseas and in the United States say.

The story jibes with what we reported last week concerning comments made by Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Buzz Moseley, who told us that air power is inflicting the most casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In our story we noted the latest Centcom airpower report at the time showed not a single lethal air strike, but chronicles several show of force flights. The Inside the Air Force story seems to buttress our observations.

The Air Forces May 1 airpower summary shows two air strikes executed with explosive effects, but about six show of force missions to disperse crowds or curtail attacks on coalition forces.

-- Christian

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