Friday, March 6, 2009

US Airpower Summary, March 6, 2009: A-10s Provide Aerial Security

Two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in-flight over Afghanistan providing aerial security for coalition forces. A-10s perform shows of force to deter enemy activities and provide close-air support to coalition forces in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

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

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles engaged a cave that anti-Afghan forces were using as a bunker. Using guided bomb unit-31s, the jets destroyed the cave entrance thus sealing off the enemy position.

Near Lashkar Gah, a coalition aircraft performed a show of force and expended flares to deter enemy activity over a local settlement. The aircraft was providing aerial overwatch for a coalition unit in the area.

An Air Force A-10 flew a show of force near a dismounted coalition patrol performing a mission near Asadabad to discourage enemy attack. The ground force commander called for the show of force since the unit had taken enemy small arms fire in that area earlier in the day.

Over a highway near Sheykhabad, an A-10 flew a show of force to disperse people engaged in suspicious activity in the path of an approaching coalition convoy. The group dispersed following the maneuver.

A-10s flew shows of force near a coalition forward base in Ghazni to establish an aerial security presence to prevent a potential enemy attack. Coalition security and reconstruction operations from the base continued without interference.

An F-15E conducted a show of force over the Jalalabad town center to deter anti-Afghan force activity. The mission was intended to reinforce the security established by Afghan National Police by presenting an additional aerial deterrent.

A coalition aircraft performed a show of force over a compound containing an enemy firing position in the Lashkar Gah area. The aircraft performed a show of force to prevent enemy attack on a coalition convoy passing through the area, withholding an airstrike out of concern for local civilians.

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

In total, 62 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. In addition, two coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 30 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 Navy 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 135 airlift sorties were flown, more than 441 tons of cargo was delivered and about 3,036 passengers were transported.

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

On March 4, Air Force tanker crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 259 receiving aircraft.

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

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