Thursday, January 1, 2009

US Airpower Summary; Jan. 1, 2009: A-10 Flies Combat Patrol Mission

An A-10 Thunderbolt II, like this one, performs sorties daily providing top cover for ground forces in Southwest Asia. A-10s provide close-air support and employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bombs units and laser guided bombs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Robert Wieland.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 1, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations December 31, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fired cannon rounds against anti-Afghan forces who were using small arms fire against Coalition forces in the vicinity of Monari. The mission was confirmed a success by the Joint Terminal Attack Controller.

In the vicinity of Sangin, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s onto anti-Coalition forces hiding behind a tree line. Furthermore, a Navy F/A-18A Hornet conducted shows of force to deter enemy activities in the same area. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets conducted shows of force expending flares, to deter anti-Afghan activities and provide armed aerial overwatch for a Coalition ground forces convoy in the vicinity of Ghazni and near Malek Din. The missions were reported a success by the JTACs.

In the vicinity of Kandahar, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle provided armed aerial reconnaissance for a Coalition forces convoy traveling along a high improvised explosive device threat route. The JTAC confirmed the mission successful.

Coalition aircraft performed armed aerial overwatch of a Coalition convoy that had taken indirect fire from a compound located in the vicinity of Moqor. The missions were declared a success by the JTACs.

In total, 72 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Fourteen Air Force surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two Coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Coalition aircraft flew 42 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 surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and Coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

U.S. 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 600 tons of cargo were delivered; and nearly 1,700 passengers were transported. This included approximately 33,000 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 30, U.S. Air Force and Coalition aerial refueling crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 272 receiving aircraft.

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

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