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    Airpower Summary for March 4



    Courtesy Story

    United States Air Forces Central     

    SOUTHWEST ASIA — Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations March 4, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

    In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber used guided bomb unit-38s to destroy several anti-Afghan force narcotics production facilities in Southern Afghanistan. The operation was aimed at reducing the enemy's ability to manufacture illegal drugs including heroin, a key source of their funding.

    Near Asadabad, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs hit a group of enemy fighting positions with 30mm cannon strafing passes, stopping an anti-Afghan ground attack against a coalition outpost. The outpost requested the air strike after enemy personnel fired on them with assault weapons and rocket propelled grenade fire.

    Navy F/A-18C Hornets and Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided air support to a coalition raid on an enemy narcotics production compound near Lashkar Gah. When personnel inside the narcotics compound started shooting with machine guns and RPGs, the Hornets executed shows of force to suppress their fire as coalition soldiers pulled back. Once ground forces had reached a safe distance from the facility, the Strike Eagles destroyed the narcotics compound with a series of GBU-38 strikes.

    In the Sangin area, a coalition aircraft used GBU-12s to take out enemy mortar positions during a firefight between coalition troops and anti-Afghan gunmen. The aircraft destroyed the concealed mortar positions, in a tree line and inside a compound, while employing precision tactics to confine damage to the firing positions.

    Near Now Zad, F/A-18Cs hit anti-Afghan forces hiding behind the walls of a residential compound with several 20mm cannon strafing passes. Enemy personnel had been using the compound to fire mortars, RPGs and automatic weapons at coalition troops until the jets engaged, neutralizing the enemy firing positions.

    A-10s rolled in near a coalition forward base in Jalalabad, using general purpose 500 pound bombs and 30mm cannon strafes to hit enemy positions during a ground attack. The attack was repelled with enemy forces taking heavy losses in the process.

    In the vicinity of Mata Khan, an A-10 flew a show of force, expending flares, to aid a coalition convoy in breaking away from an enemy ambush. The convoy was able to withdraw and returned to base with the aircraft flying overwatch.

    Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets performed shows of force in Delaram as a coalition convoy started taking small arms fire while driving through the streets. The aircraft caused anti-Afghan gunmen, who posed significant danger to local residents with their weapons fire, to remain behind cover long enough for the convoy to pass. The convoy successfully reached its destination and proceeded with its mission.

    Coalition aircraft flew shows of force in support of several other coalition and Afghan national army missions throughout Afghanistan, including reconstruction and security operations in Ghazni, Bagram, and Qalat, and Shurakian. These maneuvers provided a visible airpower presence that reduced anti-Afghan forces' freedom of action and increased local security, without using force that might put Afghan citizens at risk.

    Joint Terminal Attack Controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of these missions.

    In total, 79 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

    In Iraq, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-38s and a GBU-12 on a position that insurgents had frequently used to launch rockets and mortars against a coalition base. The bomb detonations rendered the firing site unusable for further attacks.

    Coalition aircraft flew 33 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-one Air Force and Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq.

    U.S. Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa.

    Approximately 142 airlift sorties were flown; more than 525 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,550 passengers were transported. This included approximately 13,000 pounds of troop re-supply that was air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

    On March 3, U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 48 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 262 receiving aircraft.



    Date Taken: 03.06.2009
    Date Posted: 03.06.2009 02:44
    Story ID: 30793

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