War on Terrorism

Monday, August 31, 2015

Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, August 31, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter aircraft conducted an airstrike near Hawl in Syria and destroyed an ISIL excavator.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL explosives cache and an ISIL resupply boat.

-- Near Beiji, an airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL barge.

-- Near Kisik, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL bombs and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Tal Afar, one airstrike struck an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position.

-- Near Tuz, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

C-130J loadmasters help deliver goods in Afghanistan

by Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
455th Air Expeditionary Wing


8/31/2015 - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- When mission essential goods need to be delivered to bases around Afghanistan, C-130J Super Hercules loadmasters provide the help needed to ensure cargo is placed in the right hands in support of NATO's Resolute Support mission.

The loadmasters here are deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and are responsible for helping transport cargo and people to and from various forward operating bases within the area of responsibility.

Loadmasters duties include the proper loading and unloading of cargo, passenger safety during flight, and ensuring the aircraft' weight and balance is within limitations to fly.

"Here in the AOR, we mostly deliver a lot of goods and cargo to folks at other FOBs. It's quite different from what we do back at home station," said Staff Sgt. Casey Strauss, 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster. "We have two loadmasters assigned to each mission and we basically go from FOB to FOB delivering cargo."

On a daily basis, the loadmasters make three to six stops a day at various locations in Afghanistan, such as Mazar-e-Sahrif Airfield, Harmid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and Camp Dwyer.

"We drop off different things such as food, medical supplies and ammunition," Strauss said. "Each mission is different. Sometimes we have large shipments and few passengers, and sometimes we have a plane full of passengers and no cargo."

When arriving at a location, the team coordinates with the Air Terminal Operations Center in loading and unloading cargo. Depending on the mission, the aircraft may stay in place for a few minutes or hours.

"We start at Bagram and go to each FOB that we have on our schedule. Some missions are quick and some last all day," he said. "It's a routine for us; we switch out loadmaster teams every other day so everyone gets a chance to get crew rest."

The team is scheduled to re-deploy home to Little Rock AFB soon, and will be replaced with a team from Dyess AFB, Texas.

"I've really enjoyed my deployment here, supporting the mission has been great," Strauss said. "It's great working with good professional aviators that care about getting the mission done successfully."

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Coalition Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, August 29, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Al Hasakah, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL bunkers, an ISIL air defense artillery system, an ISIL mortar position and an ISIL rocket launcher.

-- Near Al Hawl, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL artillery piece and an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Washiyah, one airstrike struck an ISIL staging area.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Al Baghdadi, one airstrike destroyed two ISIL boats and two ISIL IED caches.

-- Near Bayji, four airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL building, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL mortar tube.

-- Near Habbaniyah, one airstrike struck an ISIL resupply vehicle.

-- Near Kisik, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

-- Near Mosul, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Ramadi, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL mortar firing position and destroyed two ISIL light machine guns, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Tal Afar, one airstrike struck an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position.

-- Near Tuz, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iraq Progresses in ISIL Fight, Key Extremist Confirmed Dead



By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2015 — Progress continues across the battlespace in Iraq’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremists, the U.S. Central Command spokesman said today, noting that ISIL is prioritizing resources as they continue to lose fighters and leaders at a high rate.

Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder told Pentagon reporters by teleconference that the ongoing fight against ISIL remains difficult and is expected to take a while to defeat it.

“The Iraqis are dealing with some tough challenges in certain areas but they also continue to do a lot of the right things,” Ryder said.

ISIL Operative Confirmed Killed in Airstrike

Centcom has confirmed the death of ISIL operative Junaid Hussain, a British citizen who was killed by a U.S. airstrike Aug. 24 in the ISIL stronghold of Raqqah, Syria, the colonel said.

“[Hussain] was involved in recruiting ISIL sympathizers in the West to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” Ryder said, describing Hussain as very dangerous.

“He had significant technical skills and expressed a strong desire to kill Americans … He no longer poses a threat,” he said.

Ryder noted that Hussain also was responsible for releasing personally identifiable information of about 1,300 U.S. military and government employees, and he “specifically sought” to direct violence against U.S. service members and government employees.

“We have taken a significant threat off the battlefield and have made it very clear [to] ISIL leadership we are going to target them … just as we’re targeting their communications nodes, logistics nodes and military equipment,” he said.

Coalition Airstrikes Continue

“Coalition forces conducted 39 airstrikes this week near Tuz, which is south of Kirkuk city and east of Beiji, in support of Kurdish-Peshmerga ground operations,” Ryder said.

“The airstrikes destroyed 135 ISIL fighting positions and enabled the Peshmerga to retake close to a dozen villages and roughly 250-square kilometers of territory,” he said. “As the Peshmerga advance, they’re resetting and strengthening their forward line of troops.”

The isolation phase in Ramadi continues as coalition forces provide air support to Iraqi security forces in retaking the city, and its 11 airstrikes last week largely targeted enemy personnel, Ryder said.

Iraqi security forces have “made some gains in clearing routes and closing in on the city, but it remains a challenging fight and the Iraqis will have need to keep pressing the attack,” he noted.

Fights For Beiji, Refinery Remain Contested

Beiji and its oil refinery continue to be a center of fighting between Iraqi security forces and ISIL forces, and the area remains contested, Ryder said. The coalition’s 14 airstrikes the past week in the area have taken a “significant number of ISIL fighters and more than a dozen vehicles out of the fight,” he added.

While Iraqi forces hold on to their portion of the complex, ISIL has taken back some ground -- but the extremists are “paying a very heavy price for it,” Ryder noted.

“Our goal is to keep the pressure on ISIL while we enable the efforts of the indigenous ground forces in Iraq and Syria,” he said.