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Oct. 22 airpower summary: Predators provide overwatch

10/23/2009 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Oct. 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons flew armed reconnaissance in the Asadabad area for a friendly forces foot patrol. When the reconnaissance revealed hot spots indicating a possible ambush, the aircrew confirmed coordinates of the enemy positions and precision-guided munitions were released, destroying the target. The aircrews continued to search for enemy personnel in the vicinity and to provide ongoing surveillance for the friendly forces' patrol.

Coalition aircraft were in the vicinity of Chahar Bagh providing armed overwatch for friendly forces who had reported enemy small-arms fire. A request for air power assistance was made and a show of force selected as the option available to allow the friendly forces to withdraw from the area due to possible civilians in the area. The show of force was conducted with flares expended and was considered successful when the friendly forces withdrew without casualties.

Near Asadabad, Air Force MQ-1B Predators and F-15E Strike Eagles were providing overwatch for friendly forces. When an enemy fighting position was seen as unusually active, a request for air power support was made and the coordinates were confirmed for the enemy position. Precision-guided munitions, rockets and strafing runs were employed to successfully destroy the threat.

In the vicinity of Almar, Air Force B-1B Lancers were providing reconnaissance for possible improvised explosive device emplacer activity and armed overwatch for friendly forces. A show of force to continue deterrence of any enemy action was requested and performed with total success.

There were coalition aircraft providing area reconnaissance in the vicinity of Sangin for a friendly forces operation when numerous suspicious personnel were seen loitering near a known enemy fighting position. A show of force was performed and the personnel immediately dispersed. The possible threat was eliminated.

At Sangin, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were providing armed escort for a friendly forces convoy returning to base. An improvised explosive device was reported to have exploded in the area and the aircraft were tasked with surveillance of the affected area. When possible enemy personnel were seen in the area of the explosion, a show of force was conducted, with flares expended, to push the personnel away from the blast area to allow friendly forces to examine the site. The show of force was deemed successful.

Twenty-nine Air Force, Navy and coalition intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In total, 70 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols. These missions also integrated and synchronized with ground forces, provided overwatch and helped to deter and disrupt hostile activities.

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, 23 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 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Air Force airlift crews flew 141 airlift sorties, delivered 576 short tons of cargo and transported about 3,000 passengers. Airlift included about 130,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.

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

On Oct. 21, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported 11 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 49 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.5 million pounds of fuel to 245 receiving aircraft.

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