Friday, January 30, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 30, 2009: A-10s Relieve Friendly Forces

Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in-flight over Afghanistan supporting coalition forces. A-10s performs shows of force to deter enemy activities and provide armed aerial overwatch in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 30, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 29, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a coalition aircraft struck several anti-Afghan fighting positions in the vicinity of Shurakian using guided bomb unit-38 and -12s. Enemy gunmen were firing on a coalition patrol with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and F-15E Strike Eagles executed multiple strikes near Nangalam, targeting enemy personnel using RPGs, mortars, automatic weapons and sniper fire against a coalition unit. After the Thunderbolt IIs relieved friendly forces under enemy fire using precision bombing, effectively ending the battle, the F-15Es remained on station to provide overwatch for coalition forces as they regrouped.

Near Lashkar Gah, an Air Force B-1B Lancer and coalition aircraft dropped GBU-38s and Paveway munitions to counter enemy fire on coalition units. The aircraft tracked the enemy shooters through several firing positions in civilian settlements, providing shows of force along the way to cover friendly ground forces' maneuvers. The aircraft finally released weapons once the enemy was positively identified and in a position where the blasts would no longer endanger civilians.

An F-15E performed a show of force near the Bagram area following reports of small arms fire directed at coalition soldiers. The enemy shooters broke away from the engagement immediately afterward.

In the vicinity of Khowst, an A-10 flew a show of force over a convoy patrol route to deter personnel from placing improvised explosive devices. Several suspected enemy personnel ran from the site immediately following the maneuver.

A B-1B executed a show of force in order to break up an enemy attack on a coalition convoy near Sangin. The enemy had been firing at the convoy with RPGs, assault rifles and other weapons but fled the area when the Lancer passed overhead.

F-15Es and coalition aircraft performed shows of force over the Musa Qaleh area. The maneuvers aimed to discourage enemy activity as coalition forces carried out their missions.

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

In total, 60 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, Air Force F-16s targeted an insurgent rocket launch site in the vicinity of Baqubah using GBU-38s. Insurgents fired a rocket salvo at a nearby coalition base. While insurgents failed to damage the installation, their rockets wounded an Iraqi civilian who was promptly treated by coalition medics.

Coalition aircraft flew 39 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-nine 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 130 airlift sorties were flown, more than 600 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,900 passengers were transported.

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

On Jan. 28, Air Force tanker crews flew 40 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.7 million pounds of fuel to 223 receiving aircraft.

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

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