Tuesday, March 3, 2009

US Airpower Summary, March 3, 2009: A-10s Disrupt Enemy Activities

An A-10 Thunderbolt II in-flight over Afghanistan in support of Operations Enduring Freedom. A-10s perform shows of force to deter and disrupt enemy activities against ground forces. (U.A. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

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

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped general purpose 500-pound bombs, striking a large group of anti-Afghan fighters amassed for an attack on a coalition forward base near Asmar. The strike repelled the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy force.

Near Sheykhabad, an A-10 flew a show of force to stop an enemy sniper attack against a coalition convoy. The attack ceased after the maneuver and the convoy preceded on to complete its mission.

A Navy F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18F Super Hornet flying overwatch in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah performed shows of force and expended flares when the convoy they were protecting received small arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. The attack stopped abruptly upon the appearance of the jets. The convoy reached its destination without further incident.

Near Bagram, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle performed a show of force after anti-Afghan forces blew up a civilian cargo truck with an improvised explosive device in attempt to put an obstacle in the path of a coalition convoy. The show of force thwarted the intended ambush, as enemy gunmen fled the area following the maneuver.

An A-10 flew shows of force to establish presence near Nangalam as coalition representatives met with tribal leaders and soldiers provided medical treatment for local residents. The humanitarian operation was completed without interference from enemy forces.

Near Musa Qala, an F/A-18F executed a show of force and expended flares to deter enemy forces while a coalition unit transferred people and cargo from a disabled vehicle. The ground unit successfully completed its objective.

An F-15E flew shows of force at the request of the Afghan provincial government to enhance security in Soltani and Ghazni. The presence of aircraft provided a visible deterrent to enemy activity and reassured Afghan security personnel.

Coalition aircraft also performed shows of force in several other locations throughout Afghanistan to deter anti-Afghan forces. The purpose of these actions is to increase security throughout Afghanistan thus reducing the enemy's ability to attack coalition and Afghan units conducting security, reconstruction and humanitarian missions.

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

In total, 68 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Three 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, coalition aircraft flew 29 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-seven 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 525 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,800 passengers were transported.

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

On March 1, Air Force tanker crews flew 45 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.7 million pounds of fuel to 187 receiving aircraft.

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

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