The Department of Defense announced today that the U.S. Air Force has conducted a strike on an ISIS-K tunnel complex in Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in the war-torn country.
According to DoD officials, the strike used a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast dropped from a U.S. aircraft. The use of the massive munition, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs within the military, is a first in combat.
First tested in 2003, the 9.5-ton weapon was touted as the largest non-nuclear bomb in U.S. inventory and was developed by the Air Force Research Lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
Initially developed to destroy bunkers during the Iraq War, today the bomb was dropped over Afghanistan from an MC-130 Combat Talon operated by Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
According to officials, the strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” said General John W. Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
“U.S. Forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike,” officials said in a statement today. “U.S. Forces will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan.”