A US airman scans terrain for possible threats over Logar Province, Afghanistan, in July. US Air Force statistics show a dramatic decrease in weapons drops in August compared to the same period in previous years. (US Air Force)
WASHINGTON — US aircraft in Afghanistan fired their weapons 158 times in August, the lowest monthly total in more than a year.
The numbers were released Wednesday as part of the monthly Combined Forces Air Component Commander Airpower statistics put out by US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT). Among the statistics included in the report are how many sorties were flown, how many sorties saw at least one weapon release and overall number of weapon releases.
Overall, 1,051 of the 15,239 sorties flown in Afghanistan this year saw at least one weapons release.
August now becomes only the fourth month since the start of 2009 to require fewer than 160 weapons releases in Afghanistan, joining January 2010 (156), February 2010 (154) and February 2012 (116). The drop is also notable for occurring in August; data show a pattern of heaviest action from June through October.
In comparison, AFCENT reported 588 weapons releases in August 2012 and 516 during the same period in 2011.