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It has validated the push for precision munitions, a tanker fleet that keeps jet fighters in the air and unmanned systems that can hunt and strike terrorists.

“When you’ve been doing this for 21 straight years, certain other things become very very clear,” he said, mentioning the ability to deploy quickly and maintaining aircraft far from home.

Being able to hit one building in a congested urban environment or one vehicle on a busy highway is the result of evolving tactics and technology dating back to Vietnam.

“The fundamentals of air power, and the principles of air power and the benefits of air power are constant when you look at combat and you look at extended operations and joint operations,” he said.