US Airmen on Standby to Launch Iraq Air War

Surveillance Flights Expected to Give Way to Attacks

Amid an increasing number of surveillance overflights, US airmen in the region around Iraq are on standby to launch airstrikes against Iraq as soon as they given the go-ahead by President Obama.

“I’m very confident that if the order comes down, our Air Force will be ready,” noted Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. It wouldn’t just be about launching air strikes either.

Because of the scope of the air war likely to be used, the Pentagon says the 621st Contingency Response Wing would be ready to start managing airfields inside Iraq, from which the strikes could be launched.

The aircraft carrier in the region, the USS George H.W. Bush, has F/A-18 Hornets, which are what the administration is using for surveillance flights right now. The carrier also has some MV-22 Osprey transport planes, which would be used to evacuate the thousands of personnel from the massive US Embassy in Baghdad.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.