Thursday, April 13, 2017
MOAB used for first time
The U.S. military dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bombs on a cave and tunnel complex used by Islamic State fighters in eastern Afghanistan, marking the first use of the bomb in combat. The GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb is 21,600 pounds and nicknamed the “mother of all bombs.” The Pentagon, which announced the bombing in a statement, did not say why it decided to use the GBU-43 in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province, but the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan said it was the right munition to use. The U.S. has an even larger non-nuclear bomb, the 30,000-pound GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, but it does not have the explosive power of the GBU-43. (Sources: multiple, including Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, 04/13/17) Gulf Coast note: The GBU-43 was developed at by the Air Force Research Lab Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., during the Iraq war but was never used.