Wednesday, June 24, 2009

US Airpower Summary, June 24, 2009: HH-60Gs Support Medical Evacuations

HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters conduct day or night operations to support medical evacuations in Southwest Asia. On June 22, HH-60Gs and Guardian Angel teams transported seven patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt Jack Braden.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, June 24, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations June 23, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an F-15E Strike Eagle conducted a strike using a guided bomb unit-31 to destroy improvised explosive devices discovered near Now Zad. The detonation removed the risk posed by the devices to both local civilians as well as Afghan and coalition security forces.

Multiple coalition aircraft and Navy F/A-18C Hornets flew shows of force throughout the day in the Lashkar Gah area, stopping or preempting several anti-Afghan forces attacks. Insurgents with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns opened fire on two different convoys passing through the area from civilian residential compounds. To avoid danger to Afghan civilians and their property, the ground forces commander opted to employ a show of force rather than use airstrikes.

In Konduz, several A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were called in to provide support for friendly ground troops who were taking enemy fire after a convoy vehicle became stuck in the road. The aircraft's visible presence stopped enemy fire and allowed friendly soldiers to regroup and withdraw safely to continue on with their missions.

An A-10 flew a show of force and expended flares over Asadabad after enemy forces started shooting at an Afghan and coalition unit. The maneuver led enemy personnel to cease fire and withdraw.

In Orgun, an F-18 conducted a show of force over a treeline and expended flares after a coalition convoy spotted enemy personnel preparing for an attack there. The flyover prevented a confrontation, allowing the convoy to proceed without interference.

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

In total, 81 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the 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, three Navy and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 23 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-eight Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, two Air Force 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, 590 tons of cargo were delivered and about 2,500 passengers were transported. This included about 60,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On June 22, Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported seven patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. Pararescue team members aboard located, rescued and began treatment to stabilize patients in the battlefield. The HH-60G transported these patients to field hospitals in less time than it takes for a civilian patient to reach emergency care by ambulance in most major cities.

Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 235 receiving aircraft.

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

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