Monday, April 13, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 13, 2009: F-15s Destroy Enemy Facility

An F-15E Strike Eagle takes off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The F-15E's primary role in Afghanistan is providing close-air support for ground troops. The F-15 is assigned to the 492nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed from RAF Lakenheath, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Craig Seals.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 13, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations April 12, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles destroyed an anti-Afghan facility containing a weapons cache and improvised explosives device factory. The strike, carried out with guided bomb unit-38s, was carried out after careful coordination with Afghan forces.

Near Nangalam, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs bombed a ridgeline with general purpose 500-pound bombs after enemy forces fired on a coalition convoy from that location. When enemy fire continued, the A-10 marked hostile positions with smoke and carried out strafing passes. After several runs, enemy fire dropped off and the convoy moved on to its destination. An additional flight of A-10s strafed other enemy positions later in the day when a second firefight began in that area.

A coalition ground controller called in a strike against an enemy position near Tarin Kowt. A Navy F/A-18C responded, placing a GBU-38 under precision guidance directly on the position.

In the Orgun area, an A-10 strafed multiple enemy-rocket positions after a coalition observation post detected anti-Afghan forces setting up for an attack. The observation post coordinated with the aircraft during each pass, ensuring controlled and accurate targeting.

Near Sheykhabad, A-10s flew several shows of force and expended flares to deter enemy forces. Enemy gunmen had fired on a coalition convoy but fled the area after the aircraft appeared.

In Konduz, Air Force F-15Es and an A-10 performed shows of force when an Afghan National Army unit began taking hostile fire. The maneuvers suppressed enemy gunfire, allowing ANA troops to neutralize the enemy position.

A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet carried out a show of force after a coalition patrol saw a suspected group of enemy gunmen in a field near Lashkar Gah. The Super Hornet's show of force caused the personnel to disperse before any hostile activity could occur.

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

In total, 81 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, two Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-38s on a buried insurgent weapons cache. The strike was performed on behalf of the ground commander of a joint Iraqi security forces-coalition counterinsurgency mission.

Near Bagram, an F-16C performed a show of force when a coalition convoy transiting the area started taking mortar fire. The jet passed directly over the mortar's position, halting the enemy attack.

Coalition aircraft flew 22 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.

Nineteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, two 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 140 airlift sorties were flown; 350 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,100 passengers were transported. This included approximately 57,400 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On April 11, Air Force tankers flew 45 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 215 receiving aircraft.

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

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