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Oct. 14 airpower summary: C-130s help sustain operations

10/15/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Oct. 14, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Today's APS "So What" factor: When Soldiers and Airmen in a convoy come under attack and ask for emergency airpower, they have enough to deal with and can't worry about the steps in place to get aircraft overhead. They don't care about anything that goes into making it happen: the Combined Air and Space Operations Center planners developing an air tasking order flexible enough to respond to "troops in contact," without degrading other key missions; or the Air Support Operations Center that has to redirect aircraft. And they certainly don't care if the aircraft have to come screaming all the way across a country the size of France.

Yesterday, coalition ground forces knew what to do when their convoy came under fire and took the appropriate actions. Because airpower is synchronized and integrated with ground operations, the convoy knew how to reach out to get emergency close-air support assets. A-10 Thunderbolts were diverted and initially flew a "show of force" pass to try to deter the enemy. The enemy opted to continue their attack and the A-10s responded with their 30 mm GAU-8/A seven-barrel Gatling guns. The A-10s provided decisive airpower to allow the convoy to transit the 4-mile-long danger zone. Through this application of air superiority, coalition lives were saved. After being briefed on the mission, Brig. Gen. Stephen Mueller, CAOC director, said, "This situation is a prime example of how well coalition forces integrate air and ground operations."

The following is the airpower summary for operations on Oct. 14.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle performed a show of force with flares to deter enemy activities in the vicinity of Kabul. The on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the mission was successful.

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II performed a show of force with the use of flares to deter enemy action against friendly forces in Orgune. The JTAC confirmed that the desired affect was achieved.

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

Nine 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, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon targeted an enemy vehicle with a maverick missile in Samarra. The enemy vehicle was mounted with an anti-aircraft gun. The JTAC confirmed that the enemy vehicle was destroyed.

While performing an armed overwatch for a convoy, an F-16 conducted a show of force to deter enemy activities while the convoy was present in Numaniyah. The JTAC confirmed that the show of force achieved the desired affect.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 50 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.

Fifteen Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, two 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.

Approximately 147 airlift sorties were flown; 501 tons of cargo were delivered, and 4,587 passengers were transported. This included approximately 20,400 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On Oct. 13, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 39 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.6 million pounds of fuel to 203 receiving aircraft. 

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