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    Airpower Summary for May 18



    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 May 18, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

    In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10s and an F-15E Strike Eagle conducted strafing passes and released a guided bomb unit-12 against an anti-Afghan force attacking a coalition forward base. During the fight, Afghan national army forces called off an A-10 strafing attack due to concerns that enemy personnel were hiding amongst local civilian women in an apparent attempt to provoke aircraft to harm them. The aircraft instead performed a show of force to disperse the enemy.

    Near Sangin, a UK Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier dropped a Paveway guided bomb in the center of a compound from which anti-Afghan gunmen were pouring fire on friendly ground troops. The aircraft coordinated closely with ground observers to identify the source of fire prior to releasing the weapon. The Harrier also performed a show of force to allow a friendly unit to withdraw from the confrontation.

    An Air Force B-1B Lancer destroyed an enemy bunker and a "spider hole" camouflaged dug-out fighting position using GBU-38s. Enemy personnel were firing assault rifles from the positions at the time of the strike.

    In the vicinity of Gereshk, a coalition aircraft flying an armed overwatch mission for a friendly patrol strafed a field as a demonstration of force towards anti-Afghan gunmen. The gunmen were firing automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades at the patrol, but withdrew immediately once the aircraft opened fire.

    F-15Es and an A-10 conducted shows of force over Bagram, expending flares, to deter enemy aggression against an Afghan and coalition forces convoy. The aircraft also provided overwatch after a convoy vehicle was disabled by an improvised explosive device.

    A B-1B conducted shows of force and expended flares for emphasis in order to prevent an enemy attack against a friendly unit. The aircraft remained overhead for protection as helicopters picked up the unit from a landing zone.

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

    In total, 56 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

    In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 30 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-seven 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; 600 tons of cargo was delivered; and about 3,700 passengers were transported.

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

    On May 17, U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 43 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.8 million pounds of fuel to 188 receiving aircraft.



    Date Taken: 05.20.2009
    Date Posted: 05.20.2009 01:28
    Story ID: 33832

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