Friday, April 17, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 17, 2009: F-15Es Protect Coalition Forces

An F-15E Strike Eagle soars over Afghanistan providing close-air support and armed aerial overwatch to deter enemy activities. The Strike Eagle is from the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 17, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations April 16, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle in the vicinity of Shurakian used guided bomb unit-38s to target a senior anti-Afghan forces member, destroying a compound the individual was seen to enter. The compound was selected as a target to avoid harming local civilian residents. The Strike Eagle had also conducted a strafing run in the area earlier after enemy personnel engaged a coalition ground unit with small-arms fire.

An F-15E and an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II flying over Bagram performed shows of force during several ground operations taking place there. The F-15E maneuvered and launched flares to suppress enemy forces as a coalition quick-reaction force responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. It then flew another show of force to deter attacks against a coalition helicopter operation. The A-10 performed a fly-by and launched flares while providing overwatch for a friendly ground convoy in order to discourage enemy attacks.

Near Lashkar Gah, a coalition aircraft supported an Afghan National Army and coalition clearing operation by performing shows of force to deter enemy action. The aircraft also supported the preplanned mission with extensive tactical reconnaissance.

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

In total, 60 close-air-support missions were flown in support of 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 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-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 200 airlift sorties were flown, 500 tons of cargo were delivered and about 1,600 passengers were transported. Airlift included approximately 125,600 tons of aerial resupply dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On April 15, Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 36 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.4 million pounds of fuel to 154 receiving aircraft.

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

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