Monday, January 12, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 12, 2009: B-1Bs Hit Anti-Afghan Units

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan recently. B-1Bs fly close-air-support missions for both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The B-1B is assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 12, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 11, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31 and 38s, hitting several anti-Afghan units in the vicinity of Kajaki Dam. The targeted enemy forces were firing on coalition patrols and helicopters with rocket-propelled grenades, surface-to-air missiles and small arms.

Near Nangalam, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II destroyed anti-Afghan positions with general purpose 500-pound bombs, relieving an ambushed coalition vehicle patrol which had come under heavy enemy fire. The coalition patrol returned safely to base with the A-10 providing aerial escort.

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon destroyed a fortified enemy gun position with GBU-12s and executed a show of force expending flares to deter further enemy activity in the vicinity of Tarin Kowt.

Over the Gereshk area, a Navy F/A-18C Hornet used a GBU-12 to target enemy troops that were using RPGs to attack a coalition unit. Another Hornet performed a show of force nearby to discourage enemy actions.

An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a GBU-12 on a group of anti-Afghan personnel trying to set up an IED along a friendly patrol route near Balocan.

Near Musa Qala, an A-10 strafed a building containing enemy personnel firing RPGs and surface-to-air missiles at coalition forces. When the enemy continued to fire from the building, the A-10 destroyed it with a GBU-38. Nearby, an F/A18E Super Hornet performed a show of force in support of additional coalition operations in the area.

In the Bagram region, an F-15E performed a show of force and released flares to disperse anti-Afghan personnel attacking a friendly convoy with RPGs.

A Navy F/A-18E executed a show of force near a Shurakian to deter enemy personnel from emplacing a mortar position.

Near Ghazni, an A-10 performed a show of force to discourage enemy activity in support of a coalition convoy on a goodwill mission to nearby villages.

An F/A-18E performed a show of force while providing armed overwatch for a coalition unit in the Sangin area.

On-scene joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition ground units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 62 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon bombed an enemy mortar site near Baqubah with a GBU-38 and performed a show of force to deter further enemy activity in the area. The JTACs declared the mission a success.

Coalition aircraft flew 30 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.

Sixteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. Additionally, two Air Force 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 120 airlift sorties were flown, more than 440 tons of cargo were delivered and about 4,000 passengers were transported. This included approximately 37,000 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Jan. 10, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 51 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.6 million pounds of fuel to 286 receiving aircraft.

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

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