Tuesday, April 28, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 28, 2009: B-1B Deters Enemy Activity

A B-1B Lancer flies a combat patrol over Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. B-1s are being equipped with Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods to enable aircrews to "see" the battlefield better. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 28, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations April 27, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper flying over Balocan used a guided bomb unit-12 to destroy a building with enemy personnel inside. Coalition forces maintained positive identification and tracked the enemy personnel to the building after they had emplaced an improvised explosive device. The Reaper followed up the initial strike with a Hellfire missile to ensure the enemy facility was destroyed.

Near Lashkar Gah, Navy F/A-18E and -F Super Hornets employed GBU-12s and strafes to hit enemy gunmen shooting from fighting positions in compounds and a tree line. The strikes caused the enemy personnel to stop firing on coalition personnel. An additional F/A-18E performed a show of force over an enemy compound during the engagement to suppress enemy fire.

In Tarin Kowt, an MQ-9 hit a group of anti-Afghan forces personnel planting an improvised explosive device. The unmanned aircraft also dropped a GBU-12 to strike enemy personnel that survived the initial blast and were trying to escape.

In the vicinity of Gardez, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle and a coalition multirole aircraft performed shows of force and expended flares. The maneuvers were done to deter enemy aggression and stop anti-Afghan forces small-arms and mortar attacks against two coalition convoys.

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II flew a show of force and launched flares over Moqor after a coalition convoy started taking fire. Although the shooting stopped upon the jet's arrival, the convoy leader requested a show of force as an additional measure of deterrence against enemy attack.

Near Kajaki Dam, armed personnel were spotted as Afghan and coalition ground forces prepared to patrol a settlement. A Navy F/A-18C Hornet flew two shows of force to discourage the gunmen from engaging. The patrol proceeded without incident.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber flew a show of force near Garmser to deter enemy activity. The maneuver added an additional level of security presence in the area to assist Afghan and coalition forces in maintaining security there.

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

In total, 80 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

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-six 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, 750 tons of cargo were delivered and about 2,400 passengers were transported.

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

On April 26, Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 46 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 243 receiving aircraft.

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

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