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Continually optimizing the airpower machine

January 11, 2019

This report originally published at centcom.mil.

U.S. Air Forces Central Command published its November Airpower Summary today. The summary reflects airpower operations throughout the month in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Aircraft assigned to the CFACC are flown to support operations across a 20 nation AOR and produce about 2,000 sorties a week. As a part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in November, Afghan Air Force leaders met with Train Advise Assist Command Air advisors to decide on their air force’s improvement of command and control.

In support of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, professionally-applied airpower continued to provide ground forces clearing the remnants of ISIS within the Middle Euphrates River Valley with precision strike, battlespace awareness, mobility and agile combat support.

The airpower summary is online at the following link: Airpower Summary – Nov. 2018

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan
In November, aircraft assigned to the CFACC flew 707 strike sorties and released 841 weapons in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew 1,176 sorties enabling data collection, analysis, and target development.
Airlifters flew 937 sorties, just as they did in October. As well, they executed one C-130 airdrop. Tankers flew 462 sorties and offloaded 20 million pounds of fuel to 1,626 receivers, totaling 17,129 refuelings this year. Finally, 5,795 short tons of cargo were delivered and 12,433 personnel were transported by our mobility team this month.

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As a part of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in November, Afghan Air Force leaders met with Train Advise Assist Command Air advisors multiple times to determine a way-ahead to improve their air force’s command and control structure. For the past two months, coalition and Afghan forces worked together to develop recommendations to enhance the command and control construct for better utilization of AAF assets in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces mission. The shura resulted in AAF leadership endorsing the proposed command and control improvement plan.

Next, Afghans are beginning to work through implementation details stemming from the shura to achieve further integration of their air and ground forces. This is another example of Afghan led solutions but also the country’s military further refining its own joint interoperability.

Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria
U.S. and Coalition airpower supported Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve and Syrian Democratic Forces as they worked to clear the remaining ISIS forces in the Middle Euphrates River Valley flying 1,335 strike sorties and releasing 1,424 weapons. As of November, ISIS was contained to less than one percent of the ground they once controlled, and airpower continued enabling Coalition and partner forces to close in on the final remnants of the terror group. Nearly eight million Iraqis and Syrians have been liberated from ISIS.

Manned and unmanned ISR aircraft flew 659 sorties, supporting thorough and deliberate targeting and strike processes to strike ISIS forces and minimize the impact of operations on civilian populations and infrastructure.

Tankers flew 767 sorties in November, providing 42 million pounds of fuel to 4,334 receivers, extending range and loiter time over operating areas.

Airlifters flew 533 sorties, delivering 2,827 short tons of cargo and transported 3,939 passengers. C-130s flew 11 airdrop missions weighing a total of 248,930 pounds, contributing to the 558,970 pounds of supplies airdropped this year. This increase was due to poor weather throughout the region which required flexible airpower to overcome poor conditions on the ground.

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U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) reports are created independently of American Military News (AMN) and are distributed by AMN in accordance with applicable guidelines and copyright guidance. Use of CENTCOM and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reports do not imply endorsement of AMN. AMN is a privately owned media company and has no affiliation with CENTCOM and the DOD.