Thursday, August 27, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Aug. 27, 2009: Transports are AOR Workhorses

C-130 Hercules aircraft wait for an airlift mission at a Southwest Asia location. These C-130s transport coalition forces and equipment in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Patrick Dixon.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 27, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Aug. 26, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Sheykhabad. They reported an impending enemy attack on friendly helicopters and requested a show of force. The show of force, which included release of flares, was successful in deterring the enemy action.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and Navy F/A-18C Hornet aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Oruzgan. The aircraft focused attention on tree line enemy positions when friendly forces reported them as points of origin for mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire . A show of force, which included release of flares, was successful in briefly deterring enemy action. Later, several strafing runs and a precision-guided munition eliminated the enemy positions.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided overwatch for friendly forces near Lashkar Gah. The friendly forces reported receiving small-arms fire from an enemy position and requested assistance. Strafing runs and precision-guided munitions eliminated the enemy position.

Marine AV-8B Harriers provided armed overwatch in the vicinity of Lashkar Gah. The Harriers responded to a request for armed interdiction on an enemy site continuing to harass friendly forces with small-arms fire. A precision-guided munition destroyed the enemy site and a show of force ensured no further enemy action took place.

At Sangin, an MQ-9A Reaper provided armed interdiction against an anti-coalition force rocket position. Friendly forces identified and confirmed the positions as hostile before the positions were destroyed.

F-15Es at Sangin were requested to destroy an enemy compound that had been identified and confirmed as having enemy forces who were continually firing on friendly forces. This was accomplished using precision-guided munitions.

F/A-18E Super Hornets and F-15Es work with a friendly convoy near Ghazni to prevent enemy engagement as the convoy left on a mission. Shows of force were successful in suppressing enemy action.

F-15E aircraft in the vicinity of Badikhel attacked a confirmed enemy rocket launch position and then destroyed the position using precision-guided munitions. This eliminated potential attacks on the friendly forces.

Harrier aircraft provided armed overwatch for friendly forces near Washir. A show of force was conducted to reassure friendly forces that air power was overhead and ended the reported enemy fire.

Friendly forces near Asmar were hit with enemy sniper fire from several positions. Once the snipers were located, F-15E Strike Eagles rolled in and with several precision-guided munitions, terminated the enemy positions.

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

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

In total, 83 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

In Iraq, an MQ-1B Predator recorded the actions of an enemy team attempting to plant an improvised explosive device and when cleared, fired a missile eliminating the site.

In total, 22 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with 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.

Air Force airlift crews flew 149 airlift sorties, delivered 595 short tons of cargo and transported about 4,000 passengers. Airlift included about 110,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Aug. 25, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 25 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 58 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 251 receiving aircraft.

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

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