Monday, August 10, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Aug. 10, 2009: Predator UAVs Neutralize Threats

An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft prepares for take off in support of operations in Southwest Asia. The Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, remotely piloted aircraft that conducts armed reconnaissance against critical targets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 10, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Aug. 9, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft provided armed overwatch for a patrol near Kandahar. A show of force was requested when friendly forces were ambushed and received heavy small-arms fire from enemy forces. The show of force to deter enemy action was deemed successful allowing friendly forces to regroup and take care of their injured.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were performed a show of force near Chahar Bagh for friendly forces taking small-arms fire. The show of force ended the enemy action allowing the friendly forces to work on a disabled vehicle and return to the check point.

Near Asadabad, coalition aircraft were providing armed overwatch when friendly forces, under small-arms fire, requested that an enemy position be neutralized. The aircraft deployed several precision guided munitions that destroyed the enemy position.

In Asmar, Air Force MQ-1 Predators and F-15E Strike Eagles provided armed overwatch for Afghan forces. A request was called in to neutralize an enemy sniper position. The F-15Es deployed precision guided munitions destroying the enemy position. An enemy mortar position was then observed, identified and confirmed. A strike was requested on the position. The Predator released a missile on the target eliminating the position.

A-10s at Lashkar Gah were providing armed overwatch for friendly forces when small-arms fire broke out from known locations of anti-Afghan forces. The A-10s strafed the enemy positions with cannon fire causing all small-arms fire to cease.

Near the town of Sangin, an Air Force B-1B Lancer was called in to destroy an imminent threat to Afghan and friendly forces. Precision guided munitions were released on the bunker, bunker entrance and a trench line coming out of the bunker. The munitions destroyed the entire enemy position.

A Predator in Tarin Kowt was requested to follow a suspected enemy vehicle. After the vehicle was confirmed as an enemy vehicle, it was destroyed with missile fire.

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-seven Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 28 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, 665 short tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,300 passengers were transported. This included about 125,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Aug. 7, Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 13 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 aerial refueling crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.5 million pounds of fuel to 195 receiving aircraft.

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

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