Tuesday, January 6, 2009

US Airpower Summary; Jan. 6, 2009: Predator Hammers Target

Avionics mechanics Jonathan Hagy and Russell Gordy work on an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The Predator provides armed reconnaissance, airborne surveillance and target acquisition for Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Steffen.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 6, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Jan. 5, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force MQ-1B Predator used Hellfire missiles and a Navy F/A-18C Hornet dropped a guided bomb unit-38 against anti-Afghan forces firing mortars from a compound against coalition forces in the vicinity of Tarin Kowt. The missions were confirmed successful by on-scene joint terminal attack controllers.

Near Ghazni, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II performed a show of force expending flares and provided armed aerial overwatch for a coalition convoy conducting operations in the area. The JTACs declared the missions successful.

In total, 69 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the 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 45 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, three 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 130 airlift sorties were flown; more than 420 tons of cargo were delivered and nearly 2,700 passengers were transported. This included approximately 24,000 pounds of troop resupply that was air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Jan. 4, Air Force and coalition aerial refueling crews flew 43 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 270 receiving aircraft.

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

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