Thursday, December 18, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 18, 2008: C-130s Support Heavy Airlift

A C-130 Hercules prepares for a nighttime departure sortie mission enroute to Iraq. C-130s are prime transporters of cargo, passengers and troop resupply and support heavy airlift missions throughout Southwest Asia. This C-130 is deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas and is assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed base in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Raheem Moore.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 18, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 17, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a guided bomb unit-38 onto anti-Afghan forces who were firing rocket-propelled grenades at coalition forces from a nearby enemy compound in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah. Furthermore, a Navy F/A-18C Hornet conducted a show of force and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition forces patrol that had taken fire in the same area. The missions were confirmed a success by on-scene joint terminal attack controllers.

In the vicinity of Qalat, an F/A-18C performed a show of force to deter enemy activities in the area. A JTAC declared the mission successful.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs performed shows of force and provided armed aerial overwatch for coalition forces conducting cordon search of a village in the vicinity of Ghazni. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

Near Gardez, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conducted a show of force and provided armed aerial overwatch to coalition forces receiving direct fire in a town center. A JTAC confirmed the mission successful.

An F-15E provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition convoy traveling through mountainous terrain in the vicinity of Khowst. The mission was reported a success by a JTAC.

In total, 61 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Four Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon performed a show of force, dispensing flares to deter anti-coalition forces in the vicinity of Baghdad. A JTAC confirmed the mission successful.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt hostile activities.

Thirty-one Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Approximately 120 airlift sorties were flown, more than 320 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 3,600 passengers were transported. This included approximately 7,200 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews flew as part of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.

On Dec. 16, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 269 receiving aircraft.

(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)

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