- - Saturday, December 5, 2015

Although the average sortie rate is orders of magnitude below the operational tempo in the Gulf Wars or in Kosovo, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force says the service is running out of munitions.

Fox News reports that the Air Force has expended over 20,000 bombs or missiles in its fight against the Islamic State over the last fifteen months.

“We’re expending munitions faster than we can replenish them,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said Friday. “We need the funding in place to ensure we’re prepared for the long fight. This is a critical need.”

“B-1s have dropped bombs in record numbers,” Welsh also said. “We are able to manage inventories to sustain operations against ISIL at this time. We do need funding in place and the ability to forecast for production to be ready for the long fight… We continue to work on a longer term funding strategy which is absolutely required.”

Russia has been bombing ISIS positions sporadically while France and Great Britain are now active in the American-led coalition which could relieve some pressure.

Much larger potential adversaries like Russia or China most surely are following this development carefully. If the USAF cannot sustain a trickling battle against a poorly armed, medieval enemy, fighting a superpower military is obviously beyond its capability.

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