Friday, September 11, 2009

US Airpower Summary, Sept. 11, 2009: B-1Bs Provide Show of Force in Afghanistan

An Air Force B-1B Lancer awaits its next mission at a base in Southwest Asia. B-1Bs fly close-air-support missions for both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Stephens.)

Dispatches from the Front:

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

In Afghanistan, Air Force B-1B Lancer aircraft provided armed overwatch for a friendly force's convoy near Shurakian. When the convoy started receiving enemy small-arms fire and encountered an improvised explosive device a request for air support was made. The show of force was successful.

Near Asmar, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft provided overwatch for a friendly force's convoy when they reported receiving sporadic small-arms fire from an anti-coalition force's position. A show of force was requested to curtail the enemy action in the compound. There was a show of force conducted followed by several precision-guided munitions, ending the enemy aggression.

F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft were in the vicinity of Asmar, providing armed overwatch for friendly forces when they reported receiving sniper fire from two enemy positions. Air support was requested when the points of origin for the enemy sniper fire were confirmed and precision-guided munitions were released on the targets. The enemy positions were destroyed.

There were Navy F/A-18C Hornet aircraft at Chahar Bagh providing armed overwatch for coalition forces taking enemy fire from a treeline position. A show of force was requested and performed to deter enemy action and was considered successful.

At Asadabad, F-15E aircraft were overhead providing overwatch when assistance was requested. A crowd of insurgents was gathering in the vicinity of a friendly position. A precision-guided munition was released on the enemy coordinates eliminating the threat.

In the vicinity of Shurakian, Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets were providing overwatch of insurgents possibly emplacing an improvised explosive device and were requested to provide a show of force to stop the enemy action. The show of force was successful when the insurgents ceased digging and fled the area.

Coalition aircraft were supporting friendly forces at Surkhabad when they started receiving sniper fire from an enemy compound. Once the point of origin was confirmed, a precision-guided munition was deployed and the sniper fire ceased.

Navy Hornets were airborne over Qalat providing support for coalition forces conducting a security operation when they started taking small-arms fire. A show of force was requested to deter the enemy fire and after completion was considered successful as the small-arms fire had ceased.

In total, 90 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In total, 20 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-nine 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 Herucles 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 148 airlift sorties; 568 short tons of cargo were delivered; and about 3,000 passengers were transported. This included about 102,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Sept. 9, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported seven 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 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.

Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 54 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 247 receiving aircraft.

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

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