Thursday, July 23, 2009

US Airpower Summary, July 23, 2009: F-15s Provide Overwatch

An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle crew chief guides his aircraft into position at a base in Southwest Asia after a close-air-support mission. F-15Es were part of the 76 coalition close-air-support missions flown in Afghanistan July 22. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 23, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations July 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Near Asmar, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II's provided armed overwatch for friendly forces that had taken small-arms fire from enemy forces. Shows of force utilizing flares were conducted and the enemy fire ceased.

At Asadabad, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided cover for coalition forces taking small-arms fire. The F-15E's dropped GBU-38's which successfully stopped the enemy action.

Several F-15E's were in the vicinity of Kabul to provide air cover for friendly forces. The F-15E's provided support through shows of force to friendly forces under imminent threat from enemy forces after a convoy was hit with an improvised explosive device. Other shows of force used flares to deter enemy fire on friendly forces.

Asadabad was provided with a show of force by Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles for friendly forces on convoy when small-arms fire was reported. The enemy fire ceased immediately when flares were deployed.

Friendly forces requested support from coalition aircraft that were providing armed overwatch at Lashkar Gah after coalition forces received enemy small-arms fire. The enemy forces ceased fire after a show of force in which flares were used.

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

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 20 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-four Air Force and Navy ISR 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 III's provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa.

Approximately 36 airlift sorties were flown; 1,004 tons of cargo were delivered; and about 2,364 passengers were transported. This included about 86,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

On July 21, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 12 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 tankers flew 56 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 234 receiving aircraft.

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

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