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RAF Operational Update - January 2012
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Ops Update - 7 Jan 2012

Air Mobility and Lift

The VC10s of 101 Sqn got off to a good start to 2012, successfully completing all of their planned missions. Supporting a wide variety of coalition aircraft they delivered 80 tonnes of fuel. The list of aircraft serviced this week includes French Mirage 2000, UK Tornado GR4s and a number of US Navy aircraft, made up of F-18s and EA6B Prowlers. This was critical to ensuring that coalition airpower delivered armed overwatch, Shows of Force or Close Air Support to troops on the ground across Afghanistan.

Attack

The Tornado GR4s of 12(B) Sqn, operating from 904 EAW at Kandahar have begun 2012 with what could be considered a return to their normal levels of tasking following the surge periods in the last two weeks of 2011.

KAF Open Day

The exception to this was on New Years Day which saw the Kandahar Air Wing of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) hold their 3rd Annual Open House. A GR4 was put on static display while approximately 5-700 local school children and elders were invited to come and visit the flightline. The visit included briefs on the developing capabilities of the AAF and how they are working with coalition air forces to build a stable and secure Afghanistan. Children and elders were provided with the opportunity to talk to OC 12(B) Sqn and the XO. On the operational front, the GR4s launched twice from their ground alert close air support (GCAS) posture to provide armed overwatch to ground based activity.

The Afghan Air Force (AAF) has kicked off the New Year with its third annual Open House event held at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) in Afghanistan.

Additionally this week they were requested to undertake a Show of Force (SofF) during one of their close air support (CAS) missions. The SofF was requested by US ground forces operating in Paktika province who had been engaged by insurgents on a ridge line overlooking them. The low altitude, high speed pass was sufficient to deter any further engagement by the insurgents. Additionally, the Sqn undertook a number of RAPTOR missions to collect data on Points of Interest, which provide essential intelligence data in support of ground commanders. The flexibility of the GR4 came to the fore, where during a reconnaissance mission it received higher priority tasking to provide armed overwatch in support of UK ground forces.

Intelligence and Situational Awareness

The Sentinel R1 aircraft of V(AC) Sqn continued to support operations in Afghanistan this week. Primarily, their tasking was in support of operations being undertaken across RC (SW). The majority of the activity was to provide pattern of life data in support of a number of disparate operations led by the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck and UK ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand. Additionally, Sentinel also provided a number of ISR products in support of operations in RC (E). Sentinels GMTI product continues to be highly sought after and this week saw V(AC) Sqn fly approximately 40 hours.

The 39 Sqn Reaper detachment, operating from Kandahar airfield, have begun 2012 with the continued provision of detailed imagery and intelligence crucial to ground commanders. This week they have delivered over 150 hours of full motion video (FMV). The FMV products are used extensively by ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand and the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck.

Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan)

There was no Christmas respite in JHF(A). Deliberate Operations and Frame Worked tasking continued throughout the festive season. Continual support was provided to theatre troops, with over 20 deliberate operations, and the movement of Father Christmas (AKA Brig Saunders) visiting the deployed troops.




Last edited by Andy S on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Ops Update - 14 Jan 1012

Air Mobility and Lift

The VC10s of 101 Sqn continued their good start to 2012, successfully completing all of their planned missions. Supporting a wide variety of coalition aircraft they delivered almost twice as much fuel this week at 145 tonnes. The main receivers continue to be from the US Navy with 24 delivers to a variety of F-18s.

The remaining fuelling brackets were supporting French Mirage 2000, UK Tornado GR4s and US Navy EA6B Prowlers. This was critical to ensuring that coalition airpower delivered armed overwatch, Shows of Force or Close Air Support to troops on the ground across Afghanistan.

Attack

The Tornado GR4s of 12(B) Sqn, operating from 904 EAW at Kandahar have had a busy second week of 2012 delivering Shows of Force (SofF), kinetic strikes and reconnaissance.

There were five SofF which were carried out to deter a range of insurgent activity across Afghanistan, including support to Task Force Leatherneck in Helmand Province and one in RC(N) in Faryab province in support of ISAF troops.

The flexibility and speed of the GR4 came to the fore again this week, where during a routine mission it received higher priority tasking to support ISAF forces at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) which had come under mortar attack. The GR4 was quickly overhead and established communication with the Joint Tactical Air Controller who had maintained ‘eyes on’ the mortar team. The crew quickly set-up for a kinetic strike against the team and successfully terminated their activity using a Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone (DMSB) missile.

Once again the Sqn undertook a number highly successful RAPTOR missions to collect data on Points of Interest, which provide essential intelligence data in support of ground commanders.

Intelligence and Situational Awareness

The Sentinel R1 aircraft of V(AC) Sqn continued to keep a watchful eye on ground activity in Afghanistan and quickly report any new activity to ground commanders. Primarily, their tasking was in support of operations being undertaken across RC (SW). The majority of the activity was to provide pattern of life data in support of a number of disparate operations led by the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck and UK ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand. Sentinels GMTI product continues to be highly sought after and this week saw V(AC) Sqn fly approximately 50 hours.

The 39 Sqn Reaper detachment, operating from Kandahar airfield continue to provide detailed imagery and intelligence crucial to ground commanders. This week they have delivered approx 180 hours of full motion video (FMV). The FMV products are used extensively by ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand and the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck.

The Royal Navy SKASaCs detachment based at Camp Bastion have yet again played a pivotal role in a successful operation to remove capability from the insurgents. The key activity this week occurred when the Sqn were conducting a night time training mission. The flexibility of the Sea King allowed them to adapt rapidly to an unfolding situation in the desert areas of Helmand province. The crew used the advanced capabilities of the SKASaCs radar to direct ground forces to interdict two suspect vehicles transiting the desert. The vehicles were found to contain a large number of bags containing ammonium nitrate, which was to be used to produce home made explosives. This is the key element used against coalition troops in the form of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The SKASaCs team have also received high praise this week from senior ground force commanders for the quality of their intelligence products which have been pivotal to the success of countless ground operations.



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Ops Update - 21 Jan 2012

Air Mobility and Lift

The VC10s of 101 Sqn have continued to provide vital fuel for aircraft operating in the skies above Afghanistan. This week they delivered 60 tonnes of fuel bringing the monthly total to nearly 280 tonnes. The key event this week saw the VC10 crew extend their tasking to give much needed fuel to two Italian AMX ground attack aircraft, which are normally based in Herat. The Combined Air and Space Operations Centre based in the Middle East, later thanked and praised the rapid and flexible response of the VC10 crew. Refuelling missions are imperative and ensure that Coalition aircraft can continuously operate where they can deliver Close Air Support and armed overwatch for ground troops.

The C-130J Hercules fleet, part of 904 Expeditionary Air Wing, have once again proved its airlift capability. This week a total of 140 tonnes of freight and 1275 Coalition and Afghan troops were transported across the whole of Afghanistan. To sustain air mobility and lift 33 Engineering Squadron maintains and services the aircraft. This capable team of around 30 engineers and technicians ensures that the fleet continues its operational competence and necessary flights across Afghanistan.

Attack

The Tornado GR4s of 12(B) Sqn, operating from 904 EAW at Kandahar have continued to provide essential Close Air Support (CAS). This week the Tornados have been working along side US Forces in south Afghanistan. One particular event saw a Tornado aircraft deliver a Show of Force for a US convoy, to deter any Insurgent activity in Kandahar Province.

The Tornado Squadron were visited this week by the Air Component Commander (ACC), Air Commodore Stephen Forward. The ACC has recently taken over the reigns and commands 83 Expeditionary Air Group. He praised the efforts of 12 (B) Sqn, which has been deployed in Afghanistan since November and awarded two commendations to individuals working in the engineering section.

Intelligence and Situational Awareness

The 39 Sqn Reaper detachment have this week surpass 30,000 hours of operational flying over Afghanistan, reflecting its essential value to Coalition and Afghan troops. This committed and vital RAF asset, based at Kandahar Airfield, has continued to provide detailed imagery and crucial intelligence to ground commanders. This week they have delivered 194 hours of full motion video (FMV). The FMV products are used extensively by ground forces and this week assisted Task Force Helmand in identifying a range of insurgent activity including a suspected home made explosives production factory.

The Royal Navy SKASaCs detachment based at Camp Bastion have yet again played a pivotal role in ground operations in Helmand Province. This week the crew were tasked at short notice to locate suspicious vehicles that was believed to be transporting Narcotics. The crew quickly and effectively directed ground forces to the vehicles where they found quantities of Opium and weapons.

Joint Helicopter Force (Afghanistan)

JHF (A) supported both deliberate operations and short notice taskings. One of the latter, which was delivered within two hours of the initial call proved particularly successful. The Brigade Reconnaissance Force secured a prestige weapon in addition to IED components and ammunition.



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Ops Update - 28 Jan 2012

Air Mobility and Lift

The VC10s of 101 Sqn, successfully completing all of their planned missions. Thorough planning and flexibility have ensured that they delivered over 120 tonnes of fuel to coalition aircraft. The main receivers continue to be from the US Navy utilising the ‘probe and drogue’ capability of the VC10 with 25 deliveries to a number of variants of F-18. The remaining fuelling brackets were also in support of the US Navy and its’ EA6B Prowlers. This was critical to ensuring that coalition airpower delivered armed overwatch, Shows of Force or Close Air Support to troops on the ground across Afghanistan.

Attack

Despite a period of extremely inclement weather in Afghanistan this week, the Tornado GR4s of 12(B) Sqn, operating from 904 EAW at Kandahar have continued to deliver their key capabilities in support of a number of coalition ground forces. There were two Shows of Force (SofF), which were carried out to deter a range of insurgent activity across Afghanistan. The first was in support of US troops operating in Konduz province in RC(N). The second involved ISAF troops extracting a large cache of weapons and explosives in RC(E) where the SofF was sufficient to deter any potential action by insurgents in the area. Once again the Sqn undertook a number highly successful RAPTOR missions to collect data on Points of Interest, which provide essential intelligence data in support of ground commanders.

Intelligence and Situational Awareness

The 39 Sqn Reaper detachment, operating from Kandahar airfield continue to provide detailed imagery and intelligence crucial to ground commanders. This week they have delivered approx 107 hours of full motion video (FMV). The FMV products are used extensively by ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand and the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck.

The Sentinel R1 aircraft of V(AC) Sqn continued to keep a watchful eye on ground activity in Afghanistan and quickly report any new activity to ground commanders. Primarily, their tasking was in support of operations being undertaken across Helmand province. The majority of the activity was to provide pattern of life data in support of a number of disparate operations led by the US Marine Corps of Task Force Leatherneck and UK ground forces operating as part of Task Force Helmand. Sentinels GMTI product continues to be highly sought after and this week saw V(AC) Sqn fly approximately 30 hours.



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