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The 'So What' factor puts Oct. 10 airpower summary in perspective

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 "So What" factor for Oct. 10's airpower summary is that five dozen coalition Soldiers and Airmen battling Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan are alive today because of 19 consecutive hours of airpower.

The scoop: The CAOC received a request for assistance from "troops in contact," meaning coalition ground forces, who were encountering enemy fire. CAOC operations and planners provided eight A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, four F-15E Strike Eagles and a B-1B Lancer. They also provided AWACs; tankers; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

The mission was guided by the Air Support Operations Center and controlled from the Combined Reporting Center. Taliban were defeated and coalition ground forces were empowered using such airpower tactics as shows of force, strafing runs and, when needed, precision air strikes.

As a member of the ground forces later told CAOC staff members, "It was the middle of 'bad guy' territory and the only firepower available to them is what the (senior offensive duty officer) found for us...Your folks flexed for us and were able to deliver the desperately needed firepower."

The following is the airpower summary for operations on Oct 10. 

In Afghanistan, Air Force aircraft proved to be the decisive force during a day-long firefight.

While waiting for egress support in the vicinity of Uruzgan, a group of about 60 coalition forces were attacked by an unknown number of enemy combatants. Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to the units called in continuous airpower to deter the aggressors and destroy their fighting positions.

Air Force A-10s, F-15Es and a B-1B combined to provide more than nineteen hours of close-air support for coalition Soldiers on the ground.

The F-15Es and A-10s provided four "show of force" overwatch flights, deterring the enemy from attacking friendly forces.

In addition, the A-10s conducted strafing runs using cannon rounds, GBU-12s and a rocket. The F-15Es conducted strafing runs and dropped GBU-38s and GBU-12s.

The B-1B dropped GBU-31s and GBU-38s.

As a result of the efforts of the aircrews and the JTACs on the ground, all coalition personnel were able to egress safely from the area, with only one reported injury.

In Kandahar, enemy combatants were attacking coalition forces. A-10s engaged the enemy positions with cannon fire. The JTAC confirmed that the mission was successful.

An enemy gun position in Kandahar was bombed with GBU-38s by F-15Es. The mission was deemed a success by the JTAC.

During the same mission, an F-15E conducted a show of force with flares to deter enemy activities. The JTAC confirmed that the desired effect was achieved.

In Tarin Kowt, coalition forces were taking fire from a compound. A Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier bombed the compound with a general purpose 540-pound bomb. The JTAC confirmed the strike was successful.

During the same engagement in Tarin Kowt, a French Mirage 2000 conducted an air strike on the enemy compound with a GBU-12. The desired effect was achieved and the mission was declared a success by the JTAC.

In Gardez, A-10s engaged enemy personnel with cannon rounds and a GBU-12. The JTAC confirmed that the desired result was achieved.

A-10s used a general-purpose 500-pound bomb and cannon rounds to engage enemy personnel near Ali Kheyl. The JTAC confirmed the mission was successful.

Also in Ali Kheyl, F-15Es engaged enemy personnel with a GBU-12 and cannon rounds. The JTAC confirmed that the target was hit successfully.

In total, 43 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, a B-1B bombed two bridges near Al Muqdadiyah with GBU-31s and GBU-38s. One bridge was occupied with enemy combatants and the other was used as crossing point by enemy personnel. The JTAC confirmed the mission was successful.

A Navy F/A-18 Hornet struck a roadside improvised explosive device in Al Muqdadiyah with a GBU-51. The JTAC confirmed that the target was destroyed.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons used GBU-38s to strike IEDs discovered near Al Muqdadiyah. The JTAC confirmed that the IEDs were destroyed.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 66 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided over watch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Eighteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, seven Air Force, Navy and RAF 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 146 airlift sorties were flown, 386 tons of cargo were delivered and 4,310 passengers were transported. Airlift included approximately 52,480 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Oct. 9, Air Force, French and RAF aerial refueling crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.0 million pounds of fuel to 248 receiving aircraft.

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