Saturday, December 20, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 20, 2008: A-10s Protect Coalition Convoys

A-10 Thunderbolt IIIs, like the one pictured here, conduct ground support operations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan on a routine basis. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 20, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 19, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped guided bomb unit-38s onto anti-Afghan forces that were firing rocket propelled grenades at a coalition ground forces convoy conducting operations in the vicinity of Bari Kowt. The missions were confirmed a success by the joint terminal attack controllers.

In the vicinity of Kajaki Dam, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a GBU-31 and a coalition aircraft dropped GBU-12s onto anti-Afghan forces who were firing rocket propelled grenades at coalition forces from inside a compound. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped a GBU-38 and GBU-31s onto anti-Afghan forces in the open that were attacking coalition ground forces convoy conducting search operations in the vicinity of Nangalam. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In total, 39 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Six Air Force surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan

In Iraq, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon performed a show of force to deter enemy activities and sanitize the objective area for a for a coalition ground forces patrol in the vicinity of Baghdad. The 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.

Twenty-nine Air Force and Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

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

Approximately 130 airlift sorties were flown, more than 300 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 3,000 passengers were transported. This included approximately 13,600 pounds of troop re-supply that was air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On December 18, Air Force and coalition aerial refueling crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 258 receiving aircraft.

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

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