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Oct. 11 airpower summary: C-17s provide 'best option' for force resupply

10/12/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- The Combined Air and Space Operations Center's airpower summary provides a daily account of the integration and synchronization of airpower. But some folks may ask, "So what? What does this summary really mean?"

The Oct. 11 airpower "So What" factor is about options.

You're with a group of coalition ground forces heavily involved in keeping the Taliban on the run. However, you need to get extensive winterization supplies because the temperatures are dropping and the Air Force combat weatherman is reporting snow. What are your options?

Option 1: Redirect troops for convoy duty which means they'll be driving on rugged Afghan roads for days, to and from Bagram.

Option 2: Call the CAOC and get Air Force airlifters to airdrop the needed supplies to your front door.

Today's choice for the 1-503 Infantry Regiment: The Air Force conducted one of the largest airdrops in Operation Enduring Freedom history, delivering 60-plus bundles of winter supplies, weighing 82,600 pounds, to ground forces in a remote Afghan location from two C-17s. In three minutes, Soldiers had their supplies, a resupply that would have taken days to move by convoy over rugged, mountainous terrain. The airdrop spared them from having to conduct a lengthy and life-threatening convoy.

This option also had some bonus points. By using C-17s instead of C-130 Hercules aircraft, the Air Force was able to maintain their regular C-130 missions in the area. And, it would have taken four C-130s to conduct this airdrop.

The Air Power summary for Oct 11 is as follows:

Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan during operations Oct. 11, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II conducted a show of force over Gardez by dispensing flares. The on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed a successful mission deterring enemy activity.

During a show of force in Orgune, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped flares to deter enemy activity. The JTAC declared the mission achieved its desired effect.

An F-15E performed a show of force in Orgune during an armed overwatch for a coalition convoy. The JTAC confirmed the mission was successful.

In Gardez, an A-10 used flares while conducting a show of force over checkpoints to deter enemy activities. The JTAC declared the mission achieved its desired effect.

In total, 37 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two RAF aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons engaged enemy combatants with guided bomb unit-38s in Samarra. The JTAC confirmed the mission was successful.

A show of force was conducted by an F-16 to support friendly forces during an enemy engagement in Kirkuk.

Enemy personnel installing a road side improvised explosive device in Al Muqdadiyah were targeted with a rocket by an Air Force MQ-1 Predator. The strike was assessed as successful by the JTAC.

An F-16 Fighting Falcon performed a show of force to deter enemy activities and violence in the area of a building in Nasiriyah being used as an enemy meeting place. The JTAC confirmed that the desired result was achieved.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 61 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Twenty-two Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, five Air Force and Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Some 157 airlift sorties were flown, 368 tons of cargo were delivered and 3,758 passengers were transported. Airlift included approximately 52,480 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Canada and Japan flew in support of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.

On Oct. 10, Air Force and RAF aerial refueling crews flew 51 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 270 receiving aircraft.



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