Friday, February 6, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Feb. 6, 2009: F-15Es Provide Armed Overwatch

An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to provide close-air support for International Security Assistance Force ground operations. F-15Es perform shows of force and provide armed overwatch for coalition ground convoys. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb 6, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 5, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II destroyed an anti-Afghan rocket position preparing to fire on a coalition base. The strike, employing a guided bomb unit-38, took place in the vicinity of Orgun.

In the vicinity of Tarin Kowt, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flew a show of force to deter enemy action while a coalition ground convoy cleared an improvised explosive device discovered along their travel route. The Strike Eagle also provided aerial overwatch.

An A-10 executed a show of force to suppress enemy fire during an engagement between coalition troops and anti-Afghan gunmen. Enemy forces had unsuccessfully attempted to assault a coalition forward base in the Orgun region.

A dismounted coalition patrol called in an A-10 to fly a show of force to deter enemy activity and provide aerial overwatch as they patrolled near Bagram. The patrol conducted operations to increase security in the region and provide humanitarian aid for local residents.

An A-10 and an F-15E also flew shows of force near Kandahar and Ghazni respectively in order to prevent enemy attacks in those areas.

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

In total, 74 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, two 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-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 145 airlift sorties were flown, more than 525 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,525 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 4, Air Force tanker crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 272 receiving aircraft.

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

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