Fighting Buzzards Drop GBU-54

Posted 1 October 2010
Photo by SSgt. Christopher Boitz

An F-16 pilot with the 510th Fighter Squadron, based at Aviano AB, Italy, and deployed to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, employed the 500-pound GBU-54 laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, for the first time in the Afghan area of operations in late September. The GBU-54 is equipped with a dual targeting system that combines Global Positioning System and laser guidance to accurately engage moving targets. Pilots previously used a combination of GBU-38 JDAMs and GBU-12 laser guided bombs. Identified as an urgent operational need in early 2007, the Air Force completed development and testing of the GBU-54 in less than seventeen months, fielding it in combat in Iraq in 2008.

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