Friday, July 17, 2009

US Airpower Summary, July 17, 2009: F-16s Support Warfighters

An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off on an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission. The F-16 jet provides close-air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for ground forces during combat operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 17, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations July 16, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Near Surkhabad, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons demonstrated a show of force over a possible enemy position. This action eliminated any possible imminent threat to friendly forces and civilian forces.

At Asmar, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles released guided bomb unit-31s on an enemy position and destroyed it. There was small-arms fire from the enemy position onto coalition forces that ceased immediately.

Several coalition aircraft and Air Force B-1B Lancers at Surkhabad rolled in to provide cover for a friendly force patrol taking rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. During this skirmish, there were shows of force and numerous munitions expended to include GBU-12s and GBU-38s and Hellfire missiles. The enemy fighting position was destroyed allowing the friendly force patrol to continue.

Asmar saw Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts several times during the day as they destroyed several enemy positions that had been firing RPGs and small arms on coalition forces and friendly forces. This was accomplished with several strafing runs and the release of several GBU-38s on the enemy positions. Armed overwatch was provided for several more hours.

At Qalat, Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets carried out shows of force over a suspected enemy position. Enemy forces were forced back into their compound without any shots fired at friendly forces.

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

In total, 71 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty-four Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. In addition, two Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 24 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 37 airlift sorties were flown, 1,102 tons of cargo were delivered, and about 4,158 passengers were transported. This included about 109,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On July 15, Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported eight 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 tanker crews flew 55 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 227 receiving aircraft.

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

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