By BETH HENRY-VANCE
ELKINS, W.Va. — Local veterans shared support Thursday after news that U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military, striking an Islamic State tunnel complex.
Pentagon officials said the GBU-43 bomb contains 11 tons of explosives. The Air Force calls it the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, also nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs.”
Roger Ware, of Elkins, who retired after 32 years of active military duty, said the decision to use the weapon was a good one.
“I think the impact will send a message to ISIS and the rest of the world that the U.S. is back, and the U.S. military is just as powerful as it has been in the past,” Ware said Thursday evening in a phone interview. “This sends a message to everyone that the U.S. is not negotiating anymore. … The bomb was necessary, timely and important.”
He added that there is a time and place for negotiations, but if American lives are at stake, then he supports immediate action.
“I definitely think the U.S. made a good decision,” said Ware, who served 28 years with the U.S. Marine Corps, also served with the U.S. Navy and spent time in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.
Valley Bend resident Jim Lemons, who served as a U.S. Navy aircrewman and spent time in Southeast Asia, called the bomb a “bunker buster” and said he fully supports the use of non-nuclear weapons.
“If it needs to be done, do it,” Lemons said in phone interview Thursday evening.
He said he thinks President Donald Trump is smart by listening to military leaders and their expertise.
“That’s where the tactics should be planned, is in the hands of the professionals — not the hands of the professional politicians,” Lemons said.
See more from The Inter-Mountain