Monday, July 6, 2009

US Airpower Summary, July 6, 2009: Helicopters Rapidly Transport Patients

HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams can transport patients to field hospitals in less time than it takes for a civilian patient to reach emergency care by ambulance in most major cities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 6, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations July 5, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornado conducted a strafing run in a wooded area near Gereshk against anti-Afghan forces fighting positions. Enemy personnel in the trees were firing on a friendly unit with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

Near Asadabad, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped guided bomb unit-31s on enemy mortar emplacements. Enemy forces were detected preparing to launch an indirect fire strike, leading to the aircraft targeting them in self-defense of friendly forces. Nearby, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs conducted shows of force to prevent an enemy attack near a coalition forward base.

A GR-4 and a coalition aircraft carried out strikes in the vicinity of Kandahar to take out enemy fighting positions along a treeline and a weapons cache concealed in the woods. The aircraft employed GBU-38s, Paveway guided bombs and cannon strafes, hitting multiple enemy positions and destroying an enemy ammo dump. Intelligence was received that the enemy was preparing an attack, prompting the aircraft to intervene before anti-Afghan forces could initiate hostilities.

In the vicinity of Farah, an F-15E flew a show of force to deter enemy forces who had been firing at an Afghan and coalition unit. The aircraft also conducted route reconnaissance helping ground forces locate improvised explosive devices set up by anti-Afghan personnel, helping to reduce the threat the IEDs posed to security forces and Afghan civilians.

Strike Eagles were scrambled to provide overwatch for a friendly ground unit which came under enemy RPG and automatic-weapons attack near Shahid. The attack ended when the aircraft flew a show of force over the area.

A coalition aircraft, a Marine AV-8B Harrier and an Air Force B-1B Lancer conducted shows of force in the Musa Qaleh, Delaram, and Gereshk areas respectively, deterring enemy attacks during ground operations. The presence of airpower assets stopped enemy forces from acting and allowed Afghan and coalition missions to continue without risk to Afghan civilians from enemy fire.

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

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

In total, 61 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew eight 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 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 120 airlift sorties were flown, 300 tons of cargo were delivered and about 2,530 passengers were transported. Airlift included about 20,650 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Jul 4, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 14 patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. Pararescue team members aboard the helicopters located, rescued and began treatment to stabilize patients in the battlefield. The Pave Hawks 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.

U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 35 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.0 million pounds of fuel to 110 receiving aircraft.

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

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