GBU-38 Bomb Used in Combat for the First Time


Released on Monday, October 4, 2004
Iraq
United States of America
F-16C Block 52
GBU-12 Paveway II
GBU-31 JDAM
GBU-38 JDAM
ANG - Air National Guard
JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
The US Air Force has released that recently the GPS-guided, 500-pound GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bomb was dropped successfully in combat, for the first time, during a night combat mission conducted primarily by Air National Guard (ANG) personnel deployed in Iraq.

The majority of the people connected to the assembly of the precision-guided weapon came from the Alabama Air National Guard and were supplemented by airmen from Illinois and Wisconsin. Two F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft performed a simultaneous GBU-38 release, one bomb each, on the same target in central Iraq. The bombs precisely hit a two-story building in a residential area with minimal collateral damage.

Afterwards, the US Air Force confirmed that the building was the location of a terrorist meeting of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi associates. The small-sized GBU-38 bomb gives coalition leaders the capability to attack targets in urban terrain while minimizing collateral damage likelihood. US Air Force officials look at the GBU-38 bomb as an important asset on the war on terror.

This night mission culminates the work being carried out during approximately a month before when the F-16 unit was notified that it may be dropping the GBU-38 bomb. This mission success also makes GBU-38 war-ready. According to pilots, the release/drop procedures of the GBU-38 are no different than any other bomb. Ground crew related to the bomb assembly assessed that the smaller GBU-38s are relatively easy to build.

The 500-pound (250 kilograms) GBU-38 JDAM bomb is composed of the MK-82 bomb. It is a whole lot easier to load onto the aircraft than GBU-12 laser guided bombs and GBU-31 JDAM bombs because it is a lot smaller and lighter.

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