Wednesday, January 21, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 21, 2009: F-15Es Escort Convoys

An F-15E Strike Eagle soars over Afghanistan providing close-air support and armed aerial overwatch to deter enemy activities. The Strike Eagle is from the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 21, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 20, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-15E Strike Eagles targeted several enemy fighting positions and machine gun nests with rockets, general purpose 500-pound bombs and guided bomb unit-38s. The engagement supported a coalition ground force operating near Nangalam. Nearby, a Navy F/A-18C Hornet and an Air Force F-15E conducted shows of force to deter further enemy activity.

Near Balocan, an F/A-18C conducted a show of force and expended flares to deter enemy activity. The Hornet then strafed enemy forces trying to hide in a tree line when they continued to engage coalition ground troops. A coalition aircraft also conducted separate shows of force and expended flares to deter the enemy from returning.

A Navy F/A-18C supported a coalition ground convoy with shows of force, expending flares, to discourage an enemy attack in the Musa Qala region. Later, an Air Force Strike Eagle performed additional shows of force to prevent enemy activity as the convoy travelled out of a village. The fighter then escorted the convoy back to base.

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

In total, 67 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twelve 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 41 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-six 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 150 airlift sorties were flown, more than 570 tons of cargo was delivered and about 4,200 passengers were transported.

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

On Jan. 19, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 51 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.5 million pounds of fuel to 292 receiving aircraft.

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

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