Thursday, February 5, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 5, 2009: C-130s Support Vital Airlift Missions

An Air Force C-130 Hercules taxies to a stop at a base in Southwest Asia after an airlift mission. C-130s provide intra-theater heavy airlift support transporting troops and cargo as part of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Stephens.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 5, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 4, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet targeted an anti-Afghan bunker using a guided bomb unit-38 and then engaged enemy gunmen with a strafing pass. The enemy personnel fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at a coalition patrol near Kajaki Dam.

In a separate engagement also near Kajaki Dam, a Navy F/A-18C Hornet bombed an anti-Afghan compound using a GBU-38. Enemy personnel were using the structure for cover, firing RPGs and assault weapons from the roof and through the windows at coalition troops.

Near Shurakian, a Super Hornet blew up an enemy mortar emplacement with a GBU-38 in response to anti-Afghan mortar fire against coalition forces. The Super Hornet conducted aerial overwatch for friendly units.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a GBU-38 on a tree line near Sangin, targeting enemy shooters who were taking cover there and firing at coalition soldiers.

In the vicinity of Gereshk, a Super Hornet performed shows of force during a skirmish. The maneuvers caused enemy personnel shooting at a coalition patrol to take cover and disperse.

In the Lashkar Gah area, a coalition aircraft flew a show of force over a group of armed individuals suspected to be part of anti-Afghan forces. The aircraft also performed tactical reconnaissance along a heavily travelled highway, discovering signs of improvised explosive devices.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, Navy Super Hornets and coalition aircraft flew shows of force to deter enemy activity upon the request of ground units near Musa Qala, Nurestan, Tarin Kowt and Taghaz.

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

In total, 73 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-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 128 airlift sorties were flown, more than 270 tons of cargo was delivered and about 2,500 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 3, Air Force tanker crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 264 receiving aircraft.

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

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