Sunday, January 4, 2009

US Airpower Summary; Jan. 4, 2009: Tankers Provide Key Fuel Support

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron refuels a Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornado over Iraq. (Royal Air Force photo.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 4, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 3, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force MQ-1B Predator used Hellfire missiles and an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s onto a team of improvised explosive device emplacers digging alongside a coalition route in the vicinity of Bolocan. The missions were confirmed a success by an on-scene joint terminal attack controllers.

In the vicinity of Sangin and near Shurakian, Navy F/A-18C Hornets performed shows of force to deter enemy activities and provided armed aerial overwatch for coalition convoys in the area. The JTACs declared the missions were successful.

A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet conducted a show of force by expending flares and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition patrol that had taken fire in the vicinity of Musa Qal Eh. The mission was confirmed a success by the JTAC.

In total, 48 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Fifteen Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, four Navy and 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-four 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 400 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 4,700 passengers were transported. The airlift included approximately 108,000 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 Jan. 2, Air Force and coalition aerial refueling crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 223 receiving aircraft.

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

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