Thursday, April 2, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 2, 2009: B-1B Pounds Enemy Compound

An Air Force B-1B Lancer flies a mission over Afghanistan. The B-1B can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time. (U.S. Air Force photo.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 2, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations April 1, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft performed strikes near Kajaki Dam using several precision guided bombs including guided bomb unit-12s. The strikes targeted anti-Afghan rocket teams and a building where enemy fighters were barricaded and popping off rocket propelled grenades and gunshots at coalition soldiers. Coalition ground forces followed up with mortar fire against the enemy compound.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-38s to target enemy fighting positions in a compound after anti-Afghan forces shot at a coalition unit. The bombs destroyed the compound and ended hostilities.

In the vicinity of Nangalam, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles blew up several enemy heavy machine guns using GBU-31s and -38s. Enemy forces initiated an ambush with a mortar attack, followed by concentrated machine gun fire, which ended after the airstrikes.

Near Balocan, a coalition unit taking mortar fire requested a show of force to suppress the enemy. An F-15E responded, expending flares during the maneuver, and relieved friendly troops so they could proceed with their mission.

A coalition aircraft executed a show of force after enemy personnel had been firing mortars at a coalition position near Sangin. The maneuver caused the shooter to stop firing and flee the area on a motorbike. The aircraft tracked the bike but declined to engage since the individual opted to remain in crowds, apparently using local civilians for cover.

Near Bagram, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II performed a show of force and expended flares near a coalition observation post. The maneuver provided a deterrent to anti-Afghan force activity and added a measure of safety for coalition troops and local residents.

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

In total, 54 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Fourteen Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 26 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 provided tactical surveillance and 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, 500 tons of cargo were delivered and about 4,000 passengers were transported. This included approximately 34,500 tons of aerial resupply cargo airdropped over Afghanistan.

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

On March 31, Air Force tankers flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 245 receiving aircraft.

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

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