Friday, January 16, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 16, 2009: C-17s Key to Transport Missions

A C-17 Globemaster III takes off from an air base in Southwest Asia. The C-17's primary mission is to transport servicemembers and cargo in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. (U.S Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tia Schroeder.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 16, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 15, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, several Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets destroyed anti-Afghan bunkers and firing positions using guided bomb unit-38s. The strikes were conducted after coalition ground forces began receiving fire from those locations in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah.

Multiple coalition aircraft provided aerial overwatch for recovery operations after a HH-60 helicopter made an emergency landing outside Kabul. Details of the incident were unavailable pending investigation. No casualties were reported.

Near Musa Qala, a coalition patrol called in a Navy F/A-18C Hornet to perform shows of force over a nearby area to discourage suspicious activity.

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

In total, 33 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 38 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 100 airlift sorties were flown, more than 340 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,000 passengers were transported.

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

On Jan. 14, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 209 receiving aircraft.

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

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