Thursday, May 28, 2009

US Airpower Summary, May 28, 2009: Reaper Takes Out RPG Team

An Air Force MQ-9A Reaper. like the one shown here, carried out a successful guided bomb unit-12 strike May 27 against an anti-Afghan forces rocket-propelled grenade launcher team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson.)

Dispatches from the Front:

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

In Afghanistan, an Air Force MQ-9A Reaper carried out a guided bomb unit-12 strike against an anti-Afghan forces rocket-propelled grenade launcher team. An Afghan and coalition unit had been taking fire from the enemy team.

Near Ghazni, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducted a show of force and launched flares to deter enemy aggression during a medevac operation. Army helicopters were transporting wounded personnel including Afghan civilians after an enemy suicide bomber detonated explosives near a coalition unit. Anti-Afghan forces began resorting to suicide bomb attacks after recently losing numerous gunmen in field operations. The attack indiscriminately targeted civilians in a crowded public area.

In the mountains near Bagram, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flew a show of force to prevent an attack against a friendly convoy. Enemy forces had been detected but the arrival of the aircraft prevented a confrontation.

A Navy F/A-18C Hornet conducted a show of force and launched flares to stave off an enemy attack against Afghan National Army troops under heavy fire near Bagram. A medevac flight along with the Afghan troops were pinned by enemy fire which ceased when the strike aircraft arrived on scene. The aircraft remained overhead to provide overwatch until friendly forces regrouped.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets flew shows of force in Bagram, Ghazni and Asadabad to prevent enemy attacks against humanitarian and reconstruction convoys. The convoys proceeded on their missions without enemy interference.

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

In total, 77 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty 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 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 140 airlift sorties were flown, 530 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,000 passengers were transported. Airlift included about 98,800 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On May 26, U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 237 receiving aircraft.

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

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