Thursday, August 20, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Aug. 20, 2009: F-15E Destroys Enemy Position

F-15E Strike Eagles taxi in at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, after an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission. The F-15E is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions as well as provide armed aerial overwatch. The fighters are deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 20, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Aug. 19, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Sheykhabad. Friendly forces reported taking enemy fire and requested a show of force. The shows of force, which included release of flares, were successful in stopping the enemy fire. In another engagement in the same area, a friendly force's patrol requested a show of force for reassurance that air power was in the area. The show of force, which included release of flares, was successful in deterring any enemy engagement.

Other coalition aircraft provided additional armed overwatch for friendly forces near Tarin Kowt. The aircraft focused attention on the village and a police substation. A show of force, which included release of flares, was successful in deterring enemy action during the day.

Coalition aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Lashkar Gah. Afghan forces reported receiving small-arms fire from enemy position located in a ditch and requested assistance from air power. A strafing run eliminated the enemy position with cannon fire.

Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets were providing armed overwatch in the vicinity of Orgun-E when they were requested to provide armed interdiction against anti-coalition force's rocket positions. Friendly forces identified and confirmed the positions as hostile before being destroyed with precision guided munitions. The F/A-18Fs also provided overwatch of polling stations and school houses in the town.

F/A-18E Super Hornets also provided armed overwatch in the vicinity of Lowkhi. The Super Hornets displayed several shows of force for friendly forces under fire from several enemy positions.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles at Asadabad destroyed several enemy fighting positions that had been identified and confirmed. This was accomplished using precision guided munitions. There were also requests for shows of force for the deterrence of enemy fire. The shows of force successfully resulted in ending the enemy fire.

In Lowkhi, F/A-18C Hornets worked with a friendly force's convoy to prevent enemy engagement as the convoy left on a mission. Shows of force were successful in suppressing any enemy action on the departing convoy.

F/A-18E aircraft in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah performed shows of force and strafing runs against anti-Afghan forces that were targeting coalition forces with small-arms fire. The strafing runs eliminated the enemy position.

Coalition aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Ghazni and Asmar. In Ghazni, coalition aircraft performed a show of force to reassure friendly forces that air power was overhead. At Asmar, coalition aircraft eliminated several enemy positions including a sniper position that had been firing on Afghan forces. This was achieved using precision guided munitions and a strafing run.

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

In total, 94 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In total, 30 close-air-support missions were flown in support of 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.

Air Force airlift crews flew 144 airlift sorties, 676 short tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,400 passengers were transported. This included about 70,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Aug. 18, Air Force HH-60G 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 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 58 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 286 receiving aircraft.

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

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