Tuesday, April 7, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 7, 2009: B-1B Provides Show of Force

An Air Force B-1B Lancer awaits its next mission at a base in Southwest Asia. B-1s fly close-air-support missions for both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Stephens.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 7, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations April 6, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a pair of Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets hit enemy buildings near Musa Qala using guided bomb unit-38s. The destroyed facilities were being used as firing positions against coalition forces.

Navy F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18E Super Hornets over Tarin Kowt struck anti-Afghan positions during a firefight on the ground between enemy and coalition forces. The aircraft hit enemy indirect fire spotters as well as a number of personnel armed with assault rifles.

In the Sangin area, an Air Force B-1B Lancer carried out a show of force to deter enemy forces gathering in the area. The maneuver succeeded in preventing a direct fire confrontation.

A coalition aircraft flew a show of force near Morghab in response to enemy automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fire against a coalition patrol. Enemy fire was suppressed by the jet's demonstration.

Near Bagram, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II performed a show of force after a convoy vehicle got hit by an improvised explosive device. The maneuver deterred enemy attack while the convoy transferred equipment and personnel to other vehicles, allowing the convoy to safely continue their mission. Another A-10 also performed a show of force in the area to disperse a group of suspicious individuals.

Coalition and Air Force aircraft also performed shows of force in Musa Qala, Kunduz, and Lashkar Gah to deter enemy actions. The aircraft's presence prevented enemy interference with Afghan and coalition reconstruction and security operations.

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

In total, 76 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons employed GBU-38s to destroy a hardened bunker near Baghdad. The strike occurred as part of a firepower demonstration conducted with the Iraqi military.

Coalition aircraft flew 28 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 120 airlift sorties were flown; 350 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,100 passengers were transported. This included approximately 80,100 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On April 5, Air Force tankers flew 45 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 234 receiving aircraft.

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

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