Commonly known as the “Mother of all Bombs,” aka “MOAB,” the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast waited for fifteen years to make its debut in combat.
The massive 22k lbs pound bomb is the largest non-nuclear bomb in the U.S. military’s arsenal and two presidents have been too hesitant to witness its destructive capability.
But in April of 2017, President Donald Trump was ready to show the Taliban and ISIS in Afghanistan, the U.S. was ready for victory is a war that had no end in sight.
On the 13th of April, the MOAB was dropped on an ISIS-Khorasan cave complex in Achin District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. It was the first operational use of the bomb. Two days later, an Afghan army spokesman said that the strike killed 94 ISIS-K militants, including four commanders, with no signs of civilian casualties.
Former US military official Marc Garlasco, who served in the George W. Bush administration, said that the US had not previously used the MOAB because of worries that it would inadvertently hurt or kill civilians.
With only about 15 MOAB’s being constructed since 2003, seeing one deployed in combat may not happen again in your lifetime but seeing one in person is a possibility.
The Air Force has one proudly on display in Florida at the Air Force Armament Museum outside Eglin Air Force Base. If you are in Northwest Florida, it is well worth the stop.
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