Tuesday, February 3, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 3, 2009: F-15Es Deter Anti-Afghan Forces

F-15E Strike Eagles taxi in at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, after an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission. The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions as well as provide armed aerial overwatch. The fighters are deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 3, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 2, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet dropped a guided bomb unit-38, targeting enemy personnel firing at friendly ground forces from the roof of a building in the vicinity of Gereshk. The Super Hornet also conducted a show of force to disperse enemy shooters firing on a coalition convoy in the area.

Near Shurakian, a Super Hornet strafed a group of anti-Afghan gunmen, ending rocket-propelled grenade and assault weapons fire at a coalition patrol. The Super Hornet and a coalition aircraft also flew shows of force in the area to discourage further enemy activity.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs performed shows of force over Nangalam in order to deter an enemy group gathering for attack on a coalition patrol. The enemy personnel broke off after the aircraft passed overhead.

In the Balocan area, Navy F/A-18C Hornets performed several shows of force and expended flares to discourage enemy activity during coalition ground operations.

A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet executed a show of force over a settlement near Lashkar Gah. Enemy forces had been targeting coalition soldiers there with RPG and automatic fire, but dispersed following the maneuver.

In the vicinity of Gereshk, an Air Force B-1B Lancer flew a show of force to discourage enemy action. The bomber also conducted armed overwatch for a coalition convoy transiting the area.

Air Force A-10s and F-15E Strike Eagles along with coalition aircraft performed shows of force in several areas including Qarah Bagh, Ghazni and Musa Qala to prevent additional anti-Afghan forces actions.

On-scene 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.

Thirteen 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, Marine Corps F/A-18Cs flew shows of force and expended flares in the vicinity of Tall 'Afar to deter suspicious individuals from illegally entering Iraq from Syria. The group, which appeared to be smuggling supplies, immediately fled back across the border.

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-six 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 120 airlift sorties were flown, more than 650 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,825 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 1, Air Force tanker crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 245 receiving aircraft.

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

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