Saturday, January 31, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Jan. 31, 2009: F-15E Destroys Enemy Position

An F-15E Strike Eagle flies a combat patrol mission over Afghanistan recently. The F-15E is from the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by /Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 31, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations January 30, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle destroyed an anti-Afghan heavy machine gun position with a guided bomb unit-31 during a firefight near Nangalam. The enemy dug and attempted to conceal the firing position, but remained visible to F-15E targeting systems.

Near Kajaki Dam, a coalition aircraft blew up an anti-Afghan bunker with a GBU-38, halting enemy fire at a coalition patrol providing security in the area. Shooters in the bunker fired at the patrol using rocket propelled grenades and assault weapons.

Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets and coalition aircraft performed shows of force expending flares over the Musa Qala region to deter enemy activity. A coalition convoy received enemy fire in the area but was able to safely continue on its mission with overwatch from the aircraft.

An F-15E and a coalition aircraft flew shows of force in the Shurakian area. The shows of force dispersed a gathering of people engaged in suspicious activity and a group of gunmen firing on a coalition patrol from within a populated area.

In the vicinity of Asadabad, Strike Eagles conducted shows of force and expended flares to deter a possible attack on a coalition convoy. The aircraft also cleared the convoy's route as they travelled through the area.

Navy aircraft partnered with Afghan National Army forces near Kandahar, with F/A-18C Hornets providing armed overwatch and a show of force to support an Afghani ground operation.

Navy F/A-18A and -C Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets also initiated shows of force near Balocan, Qalat, and Lashkar Gah to prevent enemy forces from interfering with coalition troop movements in those areas.

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 59 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Fifteen Air Force 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.

Thirty-two Air Force and Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules 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. This included approximately 55,600 pounds of troop re-supply that was air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On January 29, U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 43 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.5 million pounds of fuel to 207 receiving aircraft.

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

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