Saturday, December 6, 2008

US Airpower Summary; Dec. 6, 2008: Predator Fires on Anti-Afghan Forces

Three MQ-1 Predators sit ready for launch in a hangar at a base in southern Afghanistan, Oct. 25. The Predator is a multi-role attack reconnaissance unmanned aircraft system incorporating advanced surveillance capabilities with the offensive power of two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 6, 2008 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, in Afghanistan during operations Dec. 5, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an MQ-1 Predator used a hellfire missile against anti-Afghan forces who were firing rocket propelled-grenades at coalition forces from the western edge of a tree line in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah. In addition, coalition aircraft performed shows of force to deter further enemy activities in the same area. The missions were confirmed a success by joint terminal attack controllers.

In the vicinity of Soltani, a A-10 Thunderbolt IIs conducted a show of force to deter anti-Afghan activities and to illuminate the valley for coalition convoy navigation around that area. The JTAC declared the mission successful.

F-15E Strike Eagles performed shows of force to deter enemy activities and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition forces convoy conducting search operations in the vicinity of Ghazni and near Monari. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In the vicinity of Sangin, a coalition aircraft performed a show of force and provided armed aerial overwatch to deter anti-Afghan forces from firing at a coalition forces convoy from a compound where RPGs had been fired at coalition forces earlier in the day. The JTAC confirmed the mission successful.

In total, 51 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Fourteen intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, F-16 Fighting Falcons performed shows of force and provided armed aerial overwatch and reconnaissance for a coalition convoy conducting raids in the vicinity of Baghdad. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

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

C-130s and C-17s 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 350 tons of cargo were delivered; and nearly 3,000 passengers were transported. This included approximately 28,500 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 Dec. 4, Air Force and coalition aerial refueling crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 272 receiving aircraft.

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

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