Thursday, June 4, 2009

US Airpower Summary, June 4, 2009: A-10s Hunt Snipers

An A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft moves into position to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission over Afghanistan. A-10s provide top cover and close-air support to coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, June 4, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations June 3, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a flight of Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs hunted enemy snipers near Shahidan. Using smoke rounds to verify targets followed up with 30mm cannon strafes of each hostile position, the aircraft ended the sniper's attack on Afghan and coalition forces.

Near Asadabad, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and A-10s engaged during two anti-Afghan forces attacks on Afghan and coalition personnel. The F-15s used guided bomb unit-31s and a GBU-38 to take out a group of heavy grenade launchers manned by enemy personnel, then escorted a convoy with a damaged vehicle back to base. Nearby, A-10s dropped a series of GBU-38s to strike enemy forces in fighting positions along a treeline. The A-10 also performed a show of force to deter a second attack.

A Navy F/A-18C Hornet carried out shows of force near Gereshk to keep enemy gunmen at bay after they started moving against a dismounted friendly convoy. The aircraft's continued presence halted the enemy group with each pass, buying enough time for the convoy to return to their vehicles and withdraw safely.

In the area of Qal-E-Naw, an F-15E flew a show of force at a friendly ground unit's request in order to deter enemy activity. The ground operation was conducted without incident.

A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet conducted a show of force over a friendly patrol area in Tarin Kowt to establish airpower and coalition forces presence. The aircraft added an additional layer of security ensuring ground troops could carry out their mission without anti-Afghan forces instigating combat.

An F/A-18C carried out a show of force over the heads of a group of personnel suspected of emplacing an improvised explosive device near a bridge. The individuals ran off as soon as the aircraft arrived, thwarting their plans.

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.

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 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-five 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, 320 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,350 passengers were transported. This included about 76,500 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On June 2, Air Force tankers flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 230 receiving aircraft.

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

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