US Airpower Summary, Feb. 26, 2009: F-15Es Deter Enemy Forces
Dispatches from the Front:
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 26, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 25, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.
In Afghanistan, a Royal Air Force G-9 Harrier struck buildings in a compound near Kajaki Dam where enemy gunmen had established fighting positions. Armed with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons, the gunmen were exchanging fire with coalition ground forces. The Harrier conducted a show of force that successfully suppressed enemy fire; however, when the enemy personnel resumed shooting, the Harrier knocked out their positions using a Paveway guided bomb strike and a rocket attack.
An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle used guided bomb unit-31s to destroy enemy firing positions after anti-Afghan forces started shooting at Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police forces from hills near a Soltani area settlement. The strikes stopped the enemy's fire. Afghan National Army troops and Army AH-64 Apache helicopters followed up with a sweep after the strikes to ensure no further enemy forces were in the area.
Near Lashkar Gah, a coalition aircraft flew a show of force to allow a coalition convoy to withdraw from an engagement there. Enemy troops in concealed bunkers had ambushed the coalition convoy with an improvised explosive device and automatic weapons, but broke off fighting as soon as aircraft arrived. The coalition jet then performed tactical reconnaissance overhead as coalition attack helicopters targeted the enemy from close up.
Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and an F-15E performed a number of shows of force in Bagram and Kabul to disperse suspicious people gathering along the road or engaged in suspicious behavior along the routes of several coalition convoys. The convoys proceeded to their destinations without interference and without coalition forces needing to employ lethal force.
In Ghazni, an A-10 flew a show of force near a coalition forward base when sentries detected suspicious activity near the base perimeter. The maneuver provided a deterrent against any further enemy action.
Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of each mission.
In total, 57 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.
Nineteen Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.
In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 27 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-eight Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, three Air Force and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.
Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.
Approximately 148 airlift sorties were flown, more than 425 tons of cargo was delivered and about 4,600 passengers were transported.
Coalition C-130 crews flew as part of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.
On Feb. 24, Air Force tanker crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 287 receiving aircraft.
(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)
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