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May 4 airpower summary: C-17s provide heavy airlift

5/6/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations May 4, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets and an Air Force B-1B Lancer were called to carry out air strikes during an engagement between anti-Afghan gunmen and Afghan National Police. The jets hit several enemy fighting positions and a compound in which enemy personnel had gathered after the fight.

Near Qalat, a Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier used rockets and Paveway guided bombs to suppress enemy fighting positions that were firing mortars and automatic weapons at Afghan security forces in the district center. The aircraft struck several locations along a ridgeline and succeeded in halting enemy fire and driving remaining enemy personnel from the ridge.

A B-1B and F/A-18Fs conducted shows of force and launched flares to cover the withdrawal of Afghan forces following an engagement near Musa Qala. Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police personnel were taking heavy enemy gunfire when the jets arrived, causing the enemy to stop shooting.

In the vicinity of Worzhanah Kalay, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flew a show of force to deter anti-Afghan personnel who were firing rockets at friendly forces. The maneuver suppressed enemy fire and ended the rocket attack.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs carried out shows of force and launched flares to deter enemy forces attacking a coalition reconstruction convoy. The maneuvers ended the enemy attack and allowed the convoy to proceed with its mission.

Near Lashkar Gah, a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet performed a show of force and launched flares over an enemy fighting position which was engaging Afghan security forces. The show of force put a stop to enemy gunfire.

Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 75 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 22 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 ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, two Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

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

Approximately 140 airlift sorties were flown, 400 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,800 passengers were transported.

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

On May 3, Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 27 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 218 receiving aircraft.


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