Wednesday, December 24, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 24, 2008: A-10s Provide Top Cover

An A-10 Thunderbolt II provides top cover over Afghanistan in support of coalition ground forces. A-10s conduct shows of force to deter enemy activities and provide armed aerial overwatch. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 24, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 23, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a guided bomb unit-31 and a GBU-38 onto anti-Afghan forces that were firing rocket-propelled grenades at coalition forces patrolling the area in the vicinity of Shurakian. Furthermore, an F-15E and a coalition aircraft conducted shows of force in the same area and near Lashkar Gah. The missions were confirmed a success by on-scene joint terminal attack controllers.

In the vicinity of Kajaki Dam, coalition aircraft dropped a GBU-38, GBU-12s and Enhanced Paveway II munitions and fired rockets onto anti-Afghan forces who were firing RPGs and mortar shells against a coalition convoy. In addition, a coalition aircraft performed shows of force to deter enemy activities and provide armed aerial overwatch for the same coalition convoy. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped a general purpose 500-pound bomb and GBU 38s and fired cannon rounds onto anti-Afghan forces embedded in a cave in the vicinity of Nangalam. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In the vicinity of Bagram, an F-15E conducted a show of force to deter anti-Afghan activities and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition foot patrol in the area. A JTAC declared the mission successful.

An A-10 performed a show of force, dispensing flares to deter anti-Afghan forces from attacking a coalition convoy in the vicinity of Sheykhabad. The mission was confirmed a success by a JTAC.

In the vicinity of Moqor, an F-15E performed a show of force to deter enemy activities and provide armed aerial overwatch for a coalition convoy that was disabled when they were hit by RPGs during their operation. A JTAC declared the mission successful.

In total, 40 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twelve Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, 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-four 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 110 airlift sorties were flown, more than 350 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 1,800 passengers were transported. This included approximately 40,500 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Dec. 22, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 49 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 260 receiving aircraft.

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

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