Tuesday, August 11, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Aug. 11, 2009: A-10s Provide Overwatch

An A-10 Thunderbolt II prepares to take off from Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, to provide close-air support to ground troops in Iraq. A-10s have excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude and are highly accurate weapons-delivery platforms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 11, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Aug. 10, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and coalition aircraft provided armed overwatch for a friendly force's convoy near Tarin Kowt. The convoy reported being hit by several improvised explosive devices and was taking small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenade fire and mortar fire from anti-Afghan insurgents. After requesting air support, A-10s made several strafing runs with cannon fire on an enemy position confirmed in a tree line to deter the enemy action. The strafing was deemed successful after completion of the runs.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and coalition aircraft were providing armed overwatch near Badikhel when they were requested to perform shows of force against enemy forces. Small-arms fire was being used to prevent friendly forces from evacuating their wounded. The show of force ended the enemy action. Enemy action had also pinned friendly forces down in a building and another show of force allowed the friendly forces to evacuate the building safely.

Near Musa Qaleh, A-10 aircraft were providing armed overwatch when friendly forces requested a show of force to deter enemy mortar and small-arms fire. The A-10s were successful in stopping the enemy action with the show of force.

Air Force F-15E aircraft near the town of Konduz provided successful shows of force for friendly forces to deter enemy small arms fire. The aircraft then continued to provide armed overwatch.

Air Force A-10 aircraft in the vicinity of Kandahar provided armed overwatch for friendly forces. When the friendly forces reported receiving small arms fire from massing enemy forces the A-10s successfully employed shows of force to deter the enemy action.

Asadabad saw coalition aircraft work with friendly forces to eliminate an enemy position that was firing on the friendly forces. The enemy position was a sniper that was pinning friendly forces down and preventing their movement. The enemy position was taken out with a strafing run and a precision guided munition.

At the town of Konduz, F-15E aircraft provided successful shows of force for friendly forces to deter the enemy from massing for an attack. The aircraft then continued to provide armed overwatch.

Coalition aircraft at Ghazni were providing armed overwatch for friendly forces when a call to provide a show of force was received. The show of force expended flares that allowed for the identification of anti-Afghan forces that were attempting to plant improvised explosive devices.

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

In total, 73 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 Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 10 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-six 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 130 airlift sorties were flown; 430 short tons of cargo were delivered; and about 2,800 passengers were transported. This included about 155,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Aug. 9, Air Force HH-60 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 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 49 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.6 million pounds of fuel to 217 receiving aircraft.

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

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