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    Airpower Summary for March 22



    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 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

    In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15Es blew up a cave being used by anti-Afghan forces near Asmar using guided bomb unit-31s. Enemy forces were using the cave as a natural bunker, from which they would fire upon coalition troops and helicopters with assault rifles and machine guns. The bombs collapsed the mountainside onto the cave entrance, killing or sealing in the enemy fighters.

    In the Nangalam area, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs hit several enemy rocket propelled grenade positions during a firefight between coalition forces and anti-Afghan gunmen. The jets hit specific buildings where the enemy fighting positions were located, using smaller GBU-38 precision weapons to prevent excess damage to surrounding structures.

    A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet flying over Now Zad struck a compound with a makeshift enemy bunker inside, knocking in the roof of the bunker and destroying the fighting position. Enemy personnel in the bunker had been pouring automatic fire towards coalition soldiers from that location.

    Near Lashkar Gah, an Air Force B-1B Lancer used GBU-31 and -38 munitions to completely level an anti-Afghan compound where enemy forces were holed up and firing away with machine guns and RPGs. The strike relieved a coalition ground unit a few hundred meters away, allowing them to continue on their mission.

    Coalition ground controllers called in Navy F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18E Super Hornets to hit a building where an enemy mortar team was hiding and firing rounds. The aircraft strafed and then dropped a GBU-38 and a GBU-12 on the building, destroying the mortar position.

    F-15Es bombed and strafed an enemy force confronting coalition troops near Lashkar Gah. The aircraft targeted several groups of enemy fighters, including rifle, heavy machine gun, and RPG teams. The jets tracked and hit enemy personnel again as they unsuccessfully tried to escape into the mountains.

    Additional F-15Es executed shows of force near Sheykhabad, helping coalition convoys break out from heavy fire in back-to-back anti-Afghan ambushes initiated by improvised explosive device explosions. Enemy personnel fled from the scene after the shows of force. The jets stayed overhead to provide overwatch.

    A coalition jet flew a show of force during a search for anti-Afghan forces near Shurakian, driving enemy personnel from cover so that coalition ground forces could detect them. The aircraft also contributed its tactical reconnaissance sensors to the search.

    Near Monari, A-10s performed shows of force over a coalition forward base to deter suspected enemy activity in the area and preserve peace. The additional security provided by the aircraft helped foster a safer environment for both coalition personnel and local residents.

    Coalition and UK Royal Air Force aircraft also performed shows of force near Shurakian to prevent anti-Afghan force actions there.

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

    In total, 74 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

    In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons used GBU-31s to hit preplanned targets near Ba'qubah including terrorist bunkers and facilities. The strike followed others carried out yesterday and earlier, attacking terrorist centers of gravity to undermine their ability to continue operations.

    Coalition aircraft flew 28 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 surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, three Air Force and coalition aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

    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 150 airlift sorties were flown; 550 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 2,750 passengers were transported. This included approximately 50,400 pounds of aerial resupply materiel dropped over Afghanistan.

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

    On March 21, U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 244 receiving aircraft.



    Date Taken: 03.24.2009
    Date Posted: 03.24.2009 04:19
    Story ID: 31520

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