USAF U-2 aircraft amasses 30,000 flight hours in combat mission against ISIS
A US Air Force (USAF) Central Command U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft has completed 30,000 flight hours in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
The high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft has flown sorties daily against ISIS.
This aircraft has also helped gather information that is used to disrupt revenue streams and create organisational dysfunction, the USAF stated.
USAF 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant maintenance operations officer captain Lacey said: “The mere fact alone that we're able to continue flying this aircraft to this day is an achievement in itself, let alone fly 30,000 hours on one aircraft.
“Maintaining the U-2 is often a difficult task requiring maintainers from many specialities.
"It takes an entire team of skill and dedication to do what these Airmen do every day.
"They're so good at what they do; they make it look a lot easier than it actually is.
"These types of milestones are what make us the best Air Force in the world.”
Built by Lockheed Martin, the U-2 can dynamically task sensors in no time to collect on emergent, time-critical targets, and supports global security requirements in all weather conditions during day or night.
The aircraft's defensive suite enables it to survive sneak attacks and remain engaged during rapidly escalating hostilities or continue its mission during times when the presence of a threat is known or suspected, but not yet located, Lockheed stated.
Image: A 380 Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airman prepares to assist a U-2 pilot in exiting the aircraft at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Photo: courtesy of the US Central Command.