Wednesday, April 8, 2009

US Airpower Summary, April 8, 2009: A-10 Destroys Enemy Positions

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II flies over Afghanistan. An A-10 destroyed multiple anti-Afghan heavy machine gun positions and a cave complex near Nangalam using guided bomb unit-38s and -31s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lance Cheung.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 8, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations April 7, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-15E Strike Eagle destroyed multiple anti-Afghan heavy machine gun positions and a cave complex near Nangalam using guided bomb unit-38s and -31s. The F-15E followed up with a show of force after the engagement to deter enemy action as a coalition ground assault concluded the fight.

Elsewhere near Nangalam, an F-15E targeted a group of anti-Afghan personnel firing from a walled compound, using precision tactics to damage only the building being used as an enemy fighting position. Enemy forces had engaged a coalition patrol from the structure.

In the Bari Kowt area, F-15Es hit anti-Afghan gunmen with GBU-31s during an exchange of fire between enemy and coalition forces. The individuals targeted were armed with assault weapons and shooting at coalition soldiers. A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet conducted a show of force nearby to put a stop to anti-Afghan automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade fire against a convoy.

A coalition aircraft performed a show of force over suspicious individuals in a compound in Shurakian. The show of force stopped their activity without requiring the use of deadly force.

Over the Lashkar Gah area, a Navy F/A-18F flew a show of force over a group who appeared to be setting up an improvised explosive device. The maneuver prevented the individuals from succeeding while avoiding risk to nearby civilians.

A Navy F/A-18F executed a show of force near Garmser in response to sporadic gunfire against a coalition convoy coming from the surrounding area. The maneuver suppressed enemy fire so the convoy could complete its mission without further interference. Another coalition aircraft performed a similar mission near Lashkar Gah.

A Navy F/A-18C Hornet carried out a show of force in southern Afghanistan to provide presence during a helicopter medevac operation. The maneuver deterred enemy activity so patients could be safely transported from the landing zone.

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

In total, 78 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty-two 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, F-16 Fighting Falcons targeted bunkers in the vicinity of Baghdad using GBU-38 and -12 munitions. Several bunkers were destroyed as part of a pre-planned operation conducted in coordination with the Iraqi military.

Coalition aircraft flew 24 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-two 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 135 airlift sorties were flown, 370 tons of cargo were delivered and about 2,900 passengers were transported.

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

On April 6, Air Force tankers flew 44 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 250 receiving aircraft.

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

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