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October 22, 2009
Look - a Tactical Air Control PartyBy Greyhawk
And you're invited - a visit with some US Air Force front line troops:
The Air Force prefers to tout the contributions of its unmanned aerial fleet to the fight, but has boots on the ground, too.
But let's face it - this is what you really want to see - and they're the guys who make it possible:
And here's the latest airpower summary from CENTAF - one day's worth of close air support. (Contrary to mistaken popular belief, close air support has not been eliminated by "politically correct" ROE.)
Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations, Oct. 18, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials.
Morghab saw Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II and B-1B Lancer aircraft in the skies providing overwatch for a friendly forces' convoy. The convoy was hit numerous times by enemy small arms fire. When rocket-propelled grenade fire caused the lead vehicle to roll, shows of force were requested to support rescue efforts. The shows of force were successfully conducted, some with flares expended, causing the enemy to cease fire and allowing the convoy to continue without further incident.
In Afghanistan, Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft flew armed overwatch in the Asmar area. Friendly forces reported activity of anti-Afghan forces at several known enemy positions and requested air power assistance to deter hostile action. Aircrews confirmed coordinates of the enemy positions and released numerous precision guided munitions destroying the targets. The aircraft continued to search for enemy personnel in the vicinity and to provide ongoing surveillance for friendly forces.
Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft were in the vicinity of Asmar providing armed overwatch for friendly forces that reported enemy small arms fire. A request for air power assistance was made and a show of force conducted. When the show of force did not completely stop the enemy fire, precision guided munitions were released destroying the position.
Tarin Kowt saw Air Force MQ-9A Reaper, A-10 and B-1B aircraft in the skies providing overwatch for friendly forces that reported receiving enemy fire. Point of origin coordinates were confirmed for the source of the attack. Precision guided munitions, rockets and strafing runs of cannon fire were employed to successfully destroy the threat.
In the vicinity of Chahar Bagh, F-15E and coalition aircraft were providing reconnaissance for enemy activity and armed overwatch for friendly forces. When enemy movement was observed precision guided munitions were used to destroy the threat.
In total, 80 close air support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.
Thirty-one Air Force, Navy and coalition surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan. In addition, two Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.
In total, 22 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
Twenty-seven Air Force and Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, two Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.
U.S. Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa.
U.S. Air Force airlift crews flew 157 airlift sorties; 551 short tons of cargo were delivered; and about 3,600 passengers were transported. This included about 65,000 pounds of aerial resupply cargo dropped over Afghanistan.
Coalition C-130 crews flew as part of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On Oct. 17, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and "Guardian Angel" teams transported seven patients to coalition field hospitals from locations in Afghanistan. Pararescue Team members aboard located, rescued and began treatment to stabilize patients in the battlefield. The Pave Hawk 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.
U.S. Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.1 million pounds of fuel to 215 receiving aircraft.
Posted by Greyhawk / October 22, 2009 12:21 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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