Monday, February 2, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 2, 2009: B-1B Pounds Target

An Air Force B-1B Lancer takes off from a base in Southwest Asia to support Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The B-1B has the capability to carry a wide range of both guided and unguided weapons and can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against specific targets. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 2, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 1, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet dropped guided bomb unit -38s and a GBU-12, targeting a building being used as a firing position for anti-Afghan forces in the Musa Qala area. The structure was targeted after enemy gunmen began shooting at coalition soldiers from the windows with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

During an engagement near Lashkar Gah, a coalition aircraft repeatedly strafed an enemy compound with automatic cannon fire. Anti-Afghan forces in the structure had attacked a coalition patrol with automatic weapons, RPGs and command-detonated improvised explosives before the aircraft's fire ended their hostilities.

Near Orgun, an Air Force B-1B Lancer destroyed an enemy weapons cache using GBU-38s. Large secondary explosions confirmed the destruction of numerous high explosives such as those found in mortars and improvised explosive devices.

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducted a show of force, expending flares to stop enemy personnel from shooting at a coalition convoy. The enemy withdrew following the maneuver, allowing the supply convoy to safely continue on its mission.

Over the Nangalam area, an A-10 flew a show of force to deter enemy action in the area where a coalition ground unit was conducting its mission. The A-10 provided aerial overwatch afterward.

In the vicinity of Ghazni, a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet executed a show of force and expended flares to deter enemy forces from attacking a coalition convoy. Super Hornets also provided tactical reconnaissance for another ground unit in the region.

A Navy F/A-18C Hornet performed a show of force near Garmser to disperse a group of suspicious personnel. The group departed immediately after the Hornet passed overhead and expended flares.

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.

Fourteen 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 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 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 425 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,600 passengers were transported. This included approximately 45,000 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. 31, Air Force tankers flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 276 receiving aircraft.

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

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