Sunday, December 21, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 21, 2008: C-17s Support Heavy Airlift Missions

A C-17 Globemaster III, like this one, performs tactical airlift and airdrop missions, transports passengers, delivers troop resupply and all types of cargo throughout Southwest Asia in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Clark Staehle.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 21, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 20, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped guided bomb unit-38s and general purpose 500 pound bombs onto anti-Afghan forces that were firing large caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at a coalition ground forces convoy conducting operations in the vicinity of Nangalam. Furthermore, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped GBU-31s onto remaining anti-Afghan forces in the area. The missions were confirmed a success by on-scene joint terminal attack controllers.

Near Now Zad, a Navy F/A-18A Hornet performed shows of force to deter enemy activities. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

Navy F/A-18C Hornets performed shows of force, dispensing flares to deter anti-Afghan forces. Furthermore the F/A-18Cs provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition ground forces convoy conducting search operations in the vicinity of Shurakian and near Tarin Kowt. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In the vicinity of Ghazni, an A-10 conducted a show of force to deter anti-Afghan activities and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition convoy that was repairing a disabled mine resistant ambush protected vehicle. A JTAC declared the mission successful.

In total, 68 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, F/A-18Cs performed shows of presence to deter enemy activities near Tall Afar. A JTAC confirmed the missions successful.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 47 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-five 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 135 airlift sorties were flown, more than 280 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 3,200 passengers were transported. This included approximately 73,500 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Dec. 19, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 226 receiving aircraft.

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

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