Monday, February 16, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 16, 2009: F-15Es Deter Enemy Fire

An F-15E Strike Eagle soars over the mountains and high desert of Afghanistan deterring enemy activities. The F-15Es perform shows of force and provide close-air support for International Security Assistance Force ground operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 16, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 15, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a coalition aircraft used Paveway munitions to strike a group of anti-Afghan gunmen. The group was spotted carrying various automatic weapons and shoulder-fired rockets while trying to infiltrate an area close to a coalition forward operating base.

In the vicinity of Kajaki Dam, a Navy F/A-18C Hornet targeted enemy firing positions using strafing passes and guided bomb unit-12s. Initially using a show of force to deter an enemy force attack, the Hornet employed weapons after enemy forces regrouped and continued firing on coalition ground units. During a separate engagement soon afterward, the Hornet destroyed an enemy compound being used for indirect fire attacks.

An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle performed a show of force to help a coalition convoy with a disabled vehicle disengage from an improvised explosive device-initiated ambush. The maneuver suppressed enemy fire long enough for the convoy to break away from the engagement and return to base safely.

A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet flew a show of force and expended flares over Sangin to deter enemy gunmen firing assault weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at coalition soldiers. The enemy stopped their attack following the maneuver. A Navy F/A-18A Hornet and a coalition aircraft flew an additional show of force in the area to deter additional enemy activity.

Near Jalalabad, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-15E performed shows of force to prevent enemy actions. A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet also performed a similar mission in the Garmser area.

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

In total, 78 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 41 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-five 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 140 airlift sorties were flown, more than 475 tons of cargo was delivered and about 4,300 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 14, U.S. Air Force tanker crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 311 receiving aircraft.

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

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