Friday, July 24, 2009

US Airpower Summary, July 24, 2009: F-15s Provide Cover for Coalition Forces

An F-15E Strike Eagle jet takes off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to provide close-air support for International Security Assistance Force ground operations. Coalition aircraft like the F-15E flew 82 close-air-support missions in support of operations in Afghanistan July 23. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

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

Near Lashkar Gah, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II's provided armed overwatch for friendly forces in a convoy. Enemy forces opened fire on the convoy with rocket propelled grenades and small-arms fire. The A-10's strafed enemy positions numerous times, which stopped the enemy engagement on the convoy.

At Tarin Kowt, Navy F/A-18C Hornets provided cover for coalition forces taking small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade attacks from anti-coalition forces entrenched on a ridgeline. The F/A-18C's made several strafing runs which stopped the enemy action.

Several Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles were in the vicinity of Sheykhabad to provide friendly forces with air cover. The F-15E's provided support through shows of force for friendly forces under imminent threat from enemy forces. These shows of force used flares to deter enemy fire on friendly forces.

Air Force MQ-1B Predators at Gereshk fired a missile on an enemy position, eliminating the threat to friendly forces and local civilians.

Friendly forces requested support from coalition aircraft that were providing armed overwatch at Asadabad after they received small-arms fire. The F-15E's provided a show of force expending flares over the enemy position and then dropped GBU-31s which ended the enemy small-arms fire.

F-15E's provided shows of force at Mazar-E Sharif, when enemy forces engaged coalition forces with small-arms fire. The enemy fire ceased after the aircraft dispensed flares.

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

In total, 82 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twenty-five 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 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; 962 tons of cargo were delivered; and about 2,593 passengers were transported. This included about 171,560 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On July 22, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 15 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 51 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.7 million pounds of fuel to 219 receiving aircraft.

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

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