HomeNews

Airpower contributions in 2018

The 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group maintenance operations center poses in front of KC-10 Extender at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 9, 2018. The 380th EMXG MOC support approximately 520 personnel and 24 aircraft including an additional influx of transient aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby)

The 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group maintenance operations center poses in front of KC-10 Extender at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 9, 2018. The 380th EMXG MOC support approximately 520 personnel and 24 aircraft including an additional influx of transient aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby)

A bomb makes its way through hundreds of hands until it’s ready and fully functional. With each step as critical as the next, those working with explosives say it’s a hazardous yet gratifying experience.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Sarah Mountain, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing staff judge advocate, is taught how to tighten the nose plug on a GBU-54, a 500-pound Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition, during a job shadow event at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 19, 2018. Each section within AMMO must work in unison to decrease the potential for human error. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kaylee Dubois)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talk with deployed Airmen at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 22, 2018. Goldfein and Wright, “The Chiefs Team,” visited Airmen throughout U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility to offer guidance, thanks, and listen to Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright talk with deployed Airmen at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 22, 2018. Goldfein and Wright, “The Chiefs Team,” visited Airmen throughout U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility to offer guidance, thanks, and listen to Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan)

An Airman assigned to the 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron works on an A-10 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Dec. 16, 2018.

An Airman assigned to the 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron works on an A-10 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Dec. 16, 2018. These Airmen are responsible for keeping the aircraft fit to fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rito Smith)

C-17 Loaded

A C-17 Globemaster III loaded 14 aircraft pallets containing war reserve material procured and coordinated by the 386th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron Sustainment Services Flight sits on the flightline at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Dec. 20, 2018. The cargo will support a mandated coalition exercise for the sustainment, morale, and training of 300 personnel. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander, shakes hands with 332d Air Expeditionary Wing financial management budget analyst Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Grote Dec. 4, 2018.  During his visit, Guastella recognized Airmen for exceptional service in support of U.S. Air Forces Central Command operations.  Grote is deployed from the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. John T. Stamm)

Lt. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander, shakes hands with 332d Air Expeditionary Wing financial management budget analyst Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Grote Dec. 4, 2018. During his visit, Guastella recognized Airmen for exceptional service in support of U.S. Air Forces Central Command operations. Grote is deployed from the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. John T. Stamm)

From executing deliberate strikes to performing close air support and complete aerial reconnaissance, the Air Force is taking a new approach to the multirole capacity of the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Taylor Kublitz, 62nd Expeditionary Attack Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, poses in front of an MQ-9 Reaper at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 16, 2018. The 62nd EATKS at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan operates the largest fleet of MQ-9s in the world performing launch and recovery assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airmen Kaylee Dubois)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – U.S. Air Forces Central Command published its December Airpower Summary today. The month culminated a year of coalition air and space power in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

“Throughout the last year, the air component has supported multiple on-going campaigns, deterred aggression, maintained security, and defended our networks,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander. “We’ve orchestrated coalition airpower to destroy the ISIS caliphate, support Iraq, and enabled significant progress in Afghanistan.”

From response strikes on Syrian chemical weapons production facilities to the relentless hunting of the Islamic State Khorasan in Afghanistan; the transportation of over 120,000 personnel and 266 million pounds of equipment; the protection of AOR ground forces; and the work done with partner nations, the air component concluded a year of vital contributions to the stability of the region and deterring state and non-state actors.

In 2018, that strength was shown through 24,252 manned strike aircraft sorties in support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Between the two operations, manned and Remotely Piloted Aircraft strike assets under CFACC control, released over 16,000 weapons.

Enabling many of these sorties were 71,275 aerial refuelings, which offloaded 809 million pounds of fuel and extended aircraft loiter time and range. Meanwhile, 21,233 airlift and airdrop sorties moved personnel and equipment and analysis of 20,498 ISR sorties provided battlespace awareness and target development throughout the AOR.

“Every time we employ ordnance in a close air support mission, or provide inter-theater airlift or aerial refueling for current operations, we remind our adversaries of the tremendous capabilities we bring as a part of the Joint Coalition fight,” said Guastella.

The airpower summary is online at the following link: Dec. 31, 2018 

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan

In support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for ISIS-K, al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, aircraft assigned to the CFACC flew 905 strike sorties and released 539 weapons in December. The missions assisted Afghan National Defense and Security Forces operations in applying military pressure in coordination with the international community’s effort to set conditions for a political solution in Afghanistan.

Facilitating the movement of assets and resupply throughout the country, airlifters flew 912 sorties and executed three airdrops during the month, transporting 5,501 short tons of cargo and 7,955 personnel. KC-135 and KC-10 tankers offloaded 20 million pounds of fuel during 2,085 aircraft refuelings in support of operations.

 

ISR empowered operators and decision makers through target development, data collection and analysis from 1,462 sorties in the month.

Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria

For December, airpower continued support to Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve with precision air strikes and coordinated attacks destroying hundreds of ISIS fighters, facilities, logistics areas and financial centers with 1,435 strike sorties and 2,214 weapons released. The weight of effort remained in the Middle Euphrates River Valley where ISIS remnants have been decimated throughout the last year.

Tankers flew 721 sorties in December, providing 51 million pounds of fuel to 4,745 receivers, extending range and loiter time over Iraq and Syria. Manned and unmanned ISR aircraft continued data collection to inform operations with 6,863 sorties.

Finally, airlifters delivered 2,333 short tons of cargo and transported 4,118 passengers over the course of 523 sorties. December ended with 46,700 pounds of airdropped supplies from four missions, totaling 605,670 pounds for the year.