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Petraeus: Air-Ground Integration Much Improved: Processes instituted by Air Forces Central under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage have improved the command and control of air assets in Southwest Asia—and have had a pronounced effect on operations in Afghanistan, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top coalition general in Afghanistan, told the Daily Report. Air commanders in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been "empowered appropriately," even with a relatively small footprint, and have used very effective reachback to the coalition forces air component commander to get overhead assets where they're needed most, said Petraeus during a phone interview last week from his Kabul headquarters. "They have been provided the sufficient authorities to ensure the best responses possible to the commanders on the ground," he said. Since arriving in Afghanistan in July 2010, Petraeus said the responsiveness of close air support has gone from "great to exceptional." Continue