Tuesday, June 9, 2009

US Airpower Summary, June 9, 2009: B-1 Targets IED Factory

A B-1B Lancer performs a low-level fly-by for troops deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom on Oct. 27. The B-1B's three internal weapons bays can accommodate up to 84 MK-82 general purpose bombs or MK-62 naval mines, 30 CBU-87/89 cluster munitions or CBU-97 Sensor Fused Weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rebeca M. Luquin.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, June 9, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations June 8, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer, a Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet and a coalition aircraft responded to several ground engagements near Lashkar Gah. The aircraft conducted strikes using strafes and guided bomb unit-12s and -38s targeting anti-Afghan forces fighting positions which had been shooting at Afghan and coalition units with rocket-propelled grenades and assault weapons. One of the targets was an improvised explosive device factory where anti-Afghan forces had been building roadside bombs and stockpiling munitions.

In Orgun, a Super Hornet took out an enemy mortar position after its crew had launched a series of rounds against an Afghan unit. The strike, using a GBU-38, destroyed the emplacement.

Near Asadabad, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a GBU-31 to destroy an enemy bunker built into a cave compound after anti-Afghan forces staged there started shooting at a friendly unit. The strike collapsed the cave complex.

Near Tarin Kowt, a Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier and Navy F/A-18C Hornets performed shows of force and expended flares over a ridge where enemy forces were setting up for an attack. A friendly forces convoy had spotted the enemy and asked the aircraft to show their presence to deter the attackers.

A coalition aircraft in Farah province flew a show of force to stop enemy small arms against an Afghan National Police unit. The aircraft also conducted a recon of the area to locate any additional enemy forces.

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II carried out a show of force near Asmar and expended flares after a coalition observation post came under mortar attack. The jet's arrival ended the mortar fire.

Air Force and coalition aircraft flew additional shows of force in Sangin to deter enemy aggression as supply convoys passed through the area. The convoys traveled through without enemy intervention, allowing Afghan reconstruction efforts to progress.

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

In total, 85 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, coalition aircraft flew 26 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, 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, 660 tons of cargo were delivered and about 2,300 passengers were transported. This included about 166,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

June 7, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported three 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 Pave Hawk 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 53 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 219 receiving aircraft.

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

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