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October summary highlights partnerships, airpower contributions

November 29, 2018

This report originally published at centcom.mil.

Today, U.S. Air Forces Central Command published its October Airpower Summary outlining airpower operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

“Our mission is to deliver decisive air and space power on behalf of U.S. Central Command for the security and stability of the region. We do this mission proudly, alongside our international, joint, and interagency partners,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, Combined Forces Air Component Commander.

In October, the Afghan Air Force played a pivotal role in the country’s parliamentary elections, delivering and retrieving voting materials to and from election centers throughout the provinces. Their crucial contributions reflect the developing professional and capable air force with whom AFCENT Airmen partner in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission to train, advise and assist Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

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As part of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, Airmen continued striking ISIS and supported Coalition clearance operations within the Middle Euphrates River Valley. Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team members worked with partners and allies to develop the Iraqi Aviation and Air Defense Enterprise.

Chief Master Sergeant Shawn Drinkard, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Chief, said that these partnerships are a key component to air operations in the AFCENT area of responsibility. “Coalition airpower requires teamwork. And a strong coalition represents our competitive advantage over our common adversaries,” said Drinkard. “We remain coalition-ready and coalition-strong, presenting capable and credible air forces to help defeat violent extremists in the region, defend U.S. and Coalition interests, deter regional adversaries, and firmly address great power competitors.”

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

Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Afghanistan

In October, CFACC-assigned aircraft flew 765 strike sorties in Afghanistan, releasing 769 weapons in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew 1,795 sorties, totaling 10,078 sorties this year.

Tankers flew 478 sorties and offloaded 22 million pounds of fuel to 1,966 receivers. Meanwhile, airlifters flew 937 sorties. C-130s flew one airdrop mission and mobility Airmen delivered 5,758 cargo short tons and 12,572 personnel in the month.

Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria

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The airpower weight of effort in October for Operation Inherent Resolve was close air support in the Middle Euphrates River Valley with the U.S. and Coalition flying 1,237 strike sorties and releasing 876 weapons. Meanwhile, manned and unmanned ISR aircraft flew 526 sorties, providing battlespace awareness and target development.

Tankers flew 629 sorties in October, offloading 37 million pounds of fuel to 3,727 receivers, extending aircraft range and loiter time over operating areas. 

Airlifters flew 660 sorties, delivering 3,643 short tons of cargo and transporting 5,159 passengers, all increases from September. 

C-130s flew two airdrop missions weighing a total of 50,000 pounds, contributing to the 310,040 pounds of supplies airdropped this year.

U.S. and Coalition Airmen train Iraqi partners

The Iraqi Air Enterprise continues to work towards milestones as they integrate with Coalition forces to defeat ISIS. The 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group air advisors conducted a non-destructive inspection class with Iraqi Army Aviation and U.S. Army to provide a crucial inspection on an Iraqi combat helicopter which was deemed non-operational. Through the inspection, Air Advisors were able to teach best practices and techniques and ultimately return the helicopter to flight operations.

Meanwhile, the 447th Air Expeditionary Group continued enabling the fight to secure the lasting defeat of ISIS by Coalition partners through agile airfield management, cargo processing and personnel movement.

“Through operations, exercises and inspections, we work alongside our Iraqi partners to bring more and more capability to the fight against ISIS. This strengthens our relationship as partners and ensures their growing and long-term success as a credible force,” said Brig. Gen. Brook Leonard, Director of the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team. “Daily great decisions by every Airman and daily professional interactions between coalition and Iraqi service members exemplify the teamwork needed to win a lasting peace.”

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.