It all started with a small tip of intelligence.
A U.S. airman in Virginia spotted a piece of intel thousands of miles away. Ten days later, warplanes bombed 11 sites in the Middle East where American military officials say Islamic State militants manufactured deadly drones.
The operation — detailed for the first time by Air Force officials to Military.com — underscores a growing trend in modern warfare in which troops at their home bases are intimately involved in wars half a world away. It also highlights a new way of analyzing intelligence to find, track and kill enemies and their weapons, they say.