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Oct. 4 airpower summary: B-1Bs protect friendly convoys

10/5/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Oct. 4, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Near Nuristan, coalition aircraft continued to provide responsive airpower to friendly forces on the ground.

At Shkin, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons were providing overwatch for friendly forces. The aircraft were supporting a helicopter infiltration and ground forces in the vicinity of previous enemy action. The ground forces found several caches of weapons left by the enemy and a request was made for help in destroying the weapons. Precision-guided munitions were launched on the weapons caches, destroying them.

Navy F/A-18C Hornets and F/A-18F Super Hornets, Marine AV-8B Harriers and Air Force MQ-1B Predator remotely-piloted aircraft were in the vicinity of Sheykhabad providing armed overwatch. The aircraft were supporting an effort to recover several vehicles damaged earlier by improvised explosive devices and also to provide cover for a coalition convoy. Aircrews observed the enemy setting up a mortar position in the area. The Predator fired a missile and destroyed that enemy threat. To further deter enemy aggression during the vehicle recovery, shows of force were performed that were also declared successful. Several additional enemy positions were identified along the coalition convoy route. Precision-guided munitions were used to destroy the positions removing the threats.

At Surkhabad, F/A-18Cs provided overwatch for friendly forces. When the friendly forces came under fire from an enemy position, a precision-guided munition was deployed on the target, destroying it and stopping the enemy fire.

Near Chahar Bah, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II was providing armed overwatch for friendly forces. The A-10 was requested to perform a show of force for the friendly forces to deter enemy small-arms fire from a known enemy site that had launched attacks earlier in the day. The show of force was successful in deterring potential enemy action.

In the vicinity of Sangin, Air Force B-1B Lancers were providing armed overwatch for a friendly forces convoy. When enemy personnel were seen in an area where previous convoys had been fired upon, a show of force was made. The action was declared successful when no enemy action was taken against the convoy.

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

In total, 85 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

In Iraq, 26 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations. In addition, two Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In total, 24 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt hostile activities.

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

Air Force airlift crews flew 150 airlift sorties, delivered 572 short tons of cargo and transported about 3,000 passengers. Airlift included about 69,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Oct. 3, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 10 patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. Pararescue team members aboard the helicopters located, rescued and began treatment to stabilize patients in the battlefield. The Pave Hawks transported these patients to field hospitals in less time than it takes for a civilian patient to reach emergency care by ambulance in most major cities.

Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 52 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 pounds of fuel to 252 receiving aircraft.

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