Thursday, March 19, 2009

US Airpower Summary, March 19, 2009: A-10 Hits Target

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provide close-air support to ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The A-10's excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude and its highly accurate weapons delivery make it an ideal aircraft for supporting coalition operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 19, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations March 18, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II dropped guided bomb unit-38s on an anti-Afghan mortar team in the vicinity of Orgun. The strike occurred in response to enemy mortar attack against coalition ground forces. The A-10 also preformed a show of force to deter enemy fire on a coalition convoy.

In the vicinity of Lashkar Gah, a coalition aircraft dropped a GBU-12 and strafed an enemy compound after coalition ground personnel took enemy fire. Friendly forces marked the compound with smoke to identify the target.

An A-10 performed a show of force in response to enemy fire against a forward base. The maneuver ended the attack and caused enemy personnel to retreat.

An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle performed show of force to stop a firefight against coalition ground forces in the Monari area. Anti-Afghan personnel fled the area.

Near Kabul, a Strike Eagle performed a show of force to provide armed overwatch for a coalition convoy vehicle that had been struck by an improvised explosive device. The aircraft continued to stay overhead to protect the convoy as it completed its mission.

Air Force, Navy and coalition aircraft performed shows of force in the Asadabad, Lashkar Gah and Tarin Kowt areas to deter possible enemy attacks on friendly ground forces.

Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 87 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. In addition, four Navy and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided armed overwatch for a coalition vehicle that had been hit by an IED in the Ba'qubah area.

Coalition aircraft flew 24 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 aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa.

Approximately 150 airlift sorties were flown; more than 650 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,500 passengers were transported.

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

On March 17, Air Force tankers flew 43 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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