Tuesday, December 30, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 30, 2008: B-1Bs Fly Combat Patrol Missions

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan recently. The B-1B carries the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory and can rapidly delivery massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 30, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 29, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II dropped guided bomb unit-38s onto anti-coalition high value targets in the vicinity of Nangalam. The mission was confirmed a success by an on-scene joint terminal attack controller.

In the vicinity of Shurakian and Kajaki Dam, an Air Force B-1B Lancer and Navy F/A-18C Hornets dropped a GBU-12 and GBU-38s onto anti-Afghan forces who were firing rocket-propelled grenades at coalition forces conducting operations in the area. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

Coalition aircraft conducted shows of force and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition ground forces convoy receiving RPG and small arms fire in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In the vicinity of Sheykhabad and near Asmar, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided armed aerial reconnaissance for a coalition forces convoy tracking enemy vehicles leaving the site of an ambush against a coalition foot patrol. The JTACs confirmed the missions successful.

Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets conducted shows of force to deter anti-Afghan activities in the vicinity of Monari. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

Near Ghazni, an F-15E performed armed aerial reconnaissance of suspicious activities involving anti-coalition members. A JTAC declared the mission successful.

A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet conducted a show of force and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition convoy conducting search operations in the vicinity of Qarah Bagh. The mission was confirmed a success by a JTAC.

In total, 69 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eighteen 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, coalition aircraft flew 43 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-seven 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 130 airlift sorties were flown, more than 650 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 2,500 passengers were transported. This included approximately 33,000 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Dec. 28, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 42 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 265 receiving aircraft.

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

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