Friday, January 23, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 23, 2009: B-1B Bombs Enemy Compound

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The B-1B is assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Squadron and provides close-air support in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 23, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer destroyed a building in an anti-Afghan compound with a guided bomb unit-38. Enemy personnel were firing small arms and rocket-propelled grenades at coalition forces from a fighting position inside the building.

Near Bagram, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II strafed a cave from which enemy gunmen had been firing at coalition troops. The A-10 also performed a show of force in the area to deter additional enemy activity.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles destroyed anti-Afghan fighting positions in the vicinity of Nangalam using GBU-38 and -31s. The strike targeted a heavy machine gun and an enemy sniper shooting at a coalition patrol.

Outside Kandahar, an Air Force MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile, striking enemy personnel who placed an improvised explosive device along a coalition supply route. The group attempted to flee the area after placing the roadside bomb, but was tracked by the Predator's surveillance systems.

An A-10 flew an aerial escort mission for a coalition convoy near Ghazni. The Thunderbolt II conducted a show of force over the route to discourage enemy forces from engaging.

In the Asmara area, F-15Es performed shows of force to deter enemy attacks while a dismounted coalition patrol returned to their vehicles to exit a village. The patrol had performed a goodwill mission in the village as the Strike Eagles provided overwatch. The F-15Es also located an illegal anti-Afghan force checkpoint and guided coalition ground troops to the site to detain the individuals responsible.

A Thunderbolt II flew shows of force in the area around a Ghazni area settlement to deter enemy activity. coalition forces met with local leaders in the village to increase cooperation and support.

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

In total, 61 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Sixteen Air Force intelligence, 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 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 650 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,050 passengers were transported. This included approximately 72,000 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Jan. 21, Air Force and coalition tanker crews flew 41 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 260 receiving aircraft.

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

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