Thursday, January 15, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 15, 2009: Receivers Rely on Refuelers

A KC-135 Stratotanker stands ready at an air base in Southwest Asia to fly a refueling mission. The KC-135 provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft operating in the Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 15, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 14, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer, several Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets and other coalition aircraft destroyed a large enemy compound near Sangin with several types of precision guided bombs. The compound was the source of recent mortar attacks on a nearby friendly base, including one that took place just prior to the strike.

Near Gereshk, a coalition aircraft dropped a precision munition on an enemy building where anti-Afghan forces were barricaded and firing rocket propelled grenades and small arms at coalition soldiers. Nearby, Navy F/A-18C Hornets performed several shows of force to deter additional enemy activity.

An F/A-18E destroyed a compound in Shurakian with a guided bomb unit-32. Enemy personnel were using the compound as cover as they fired on a coalition patrol.

Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition ground units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 43 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, four Navy and 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.

Thirty-three 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 400 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,300 passengers were transported.

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

On Jan. 13, Air Force and coalition aerial refueling crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 248 receiving aircraft.

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

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