Tuesday, February 17, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 17, 2009: F-15E Bombs Encampment

An F-15E Strike Eagle flies a combat mission over Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring Freedom. The Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 17, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 16, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, F-15E Strike Eagles struck an encampment with guided bomb unit-38s in the Herat province. The strike targeted anti-Afghan leadership members using tactics to minimize bomb blast and prevent injury to nearby personnel not affiliated with enemy forces.

In the vicinity of Balocan, Royal Air Force GR-9 Harriers targeted anti-Afghan personnel on a motorcycle using a Paveway guided bomb. The targeted individuals had been emplacing improvised explosive devices on area roadways. The Harrier waited to release its weapons until the individuals left a local settlement so there would be no risk to Afghan civilians. The aircraft later flew a show of force to deter other enemy activity.

Navy F/A-18A Hornets hit an enemy force on a mountainside with GBU-38s while providing overwatch for a coalition convoy travelling near Tarin Kowt. The enemy briefly opened fire on the convoy with mortars, small arms, and rocket-propelled grenades when the Hornets' bombs decisively ended the engagement.

Near Orgun, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs used their 30mm cannons and general purpose 500-pound bombs to destroy an enemy mortar position near Orgun. The strike was called in after the position began launching mortar rounds toward a coalition forward base.

Strike Eagles dropped GBU-12s near Garmser, targeting an enemy force moving in during an attack on a coalition ground unit. The aircraft dropped bombs in a field near but not on the enemy's position, successfully targeting enemy personnel but preventing damage to civilian structures in the vicinity.

Coalition aircraft responded to a call from troops under automatic weapon and RPG attack near Qalat. Providing shows of force which suppressed enemy fire, the maneuver gave the coalition patrol a window in which to safely withdraw.

An A-10 flew a show of force over Gardez to prevent rocket attacks on a coalition forward base sited in the area. The attack caused suspicious individuals near the site of a previous rocket firing position to scatter.

In Nangalam, another A-10 flew a show of force to discourage anti-Afghan force activity as coalition representatives met with local leaders. The aircraft remained overhead keeping watch and serving as a visible deterrent.

A coalition aircraft provided a show of force supporting Afghan National Army operations in Qalat. The aircraft performed the maneuver and kept station overhead to give an additional measure of safety while Afghan soldiers contacted local residents and searched for enemy personnel and equipment.

During a coalition convoy operation in Kabul, an F-15E flew overhead and conducted a show of force along the convoy's travel route. The visual airpower presence provided a non-lethal level of force to deter anti-Afghan attack. A Navy F/A-18C Hornet performed a similar mission near Lashkar Gah.

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

In total, 80 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Sixteen 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 40 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 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 525 tons of cargo was delivered and about 2,375 passengers were transported. This included approximately 92,830 pounds of troop resupply airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Feb. 15, Air Force tanker crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 302 receiving aircraft.

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

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