Air Force doubles manpower for Afghan attacks

By Tyler Hemstreet on January 3, 2011

This from USA Today: WASHINGTON - The Air Force has more than doubled the number of airmen in Afghanistan who call in airstrikes, as the use of bombs, missiles and strafing runs has spiked to its highest level since the war began.

The Air Force has increased the number of joint terminal attack controllers - the airmen who work with soldiers to coordinate airstrikes - to 134 last year in Afghanistan, up from 53 in 2009, said Maj. Ike Williams, an operations officer at Air Combat Command in Langley, Va.

The increasing reliance on airstrikes and the troops who direct them comes as the U.S. military has raised its troop level in Afghanistan to 100,000, including 30,000 deployed last year.

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