Wednesday, May 27, 2009

US Airpower Summary, May 27, 2009: Strike Eagles Target Enemy Positions

An F-15E Strike Eagle flies over Afghanistan. The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions as well as provide armed aerial overwatch. The aircraft is assigned to the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 27, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations May 26, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducted strafing runs during a firefight near Remak. After anti-Afghan forces attacked a coalition and Afghan unit, the aircraft used its 30mm cannon to destroy an enemy command post and fighting positions along a ridgeline.

In Qalat, Air Force B-1B Lancers and Navy F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets intervened when an Afghan and coalition convoy vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device and anti-Afghan forces began shooting. Using guided bomb unit-38s and -12s, the aircraft hit enemy fighting positions surrounding the convoy's position and destroyed damaged coalition equipment to keep it from falling into enemy hands. An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle and an A-10 also conducted shows of force over positions where enemy forces were located in order to suppress their fire.

Air Force F-15Es and an MQ-9A Reaper carried out strikes near Ghazni using GBU-12s and -38s, bombing enemy personnel and fighting positions. Enemy personnel had been firing at a friendly unit with mortars and small arms.

In the vicinity of Asadabad, an A-10 conducted a show force while performing overwatch for a friendly foot patrol after the patrol started taking fire. The maneuver stopped hostile fire allowing the patrol to continue its mission.

An F-15E flew a show of force to deter enemy attack after Afghan National Army troops started receiving fire in the area of Qal-E-Naw. Enemy forces ceased firing when the aircraft arrived.

An F-15E, F/A-18E and Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier conducted shows of force in Bagram and Sangin in order to deter enemy attacks after ground forces spotted enemy personnel preparing to launch attacks in both areas. The presence of aircraft prevented any ground engagement from taking place, preserving the peace and allowing Afghan and coalition security and reconstruction operations to go ahead without enemy interference.

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

In total, 82 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty-three 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, coalition aircraft flew 25 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-three 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 160 airlift sorties were flown, 400 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,700 passengers were transported. Airlift included about 47,500 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On May 25, Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 228 receiving aircraft.

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

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