Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Aviation News 10/2014

The spread of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) - now called the Islamic State (IS) - into Iraq has led to the US mounting airstrikes to assist the Iraqi Government and Kurdish forces. As of September 1, US Central Command revealed that 123 airstrikes had taken place. American fighters conducted the first attacks against IS militants on August 8 when a pair of US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornets, operating from the aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush (CVN 77), used 500lb (227kg) laser-guided bombs against a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. The US airstrikes helped Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces recapture the strategically critical Mosul Dam in northern Iraq. USAF C-130s and C-17s have also been conducting humanitarian aid air drops to people threatened by IS. Additionally, the Iraqi Air Force has been attacking IS fighters and assisting civilians in need. The RAF is heavily involved in the effort. Seven Tornado GR4s have been deployed to RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, to conduct 'humanitarian support' missions and reconnaissance. Four Chinooks were sent to the base on Cyprus to assist in Iraq if required. Missions to gather intelligence have been carried out by the service's first RC-135W Rivet Joint and the UK has also undertaken aid drops using C-130Js. Plus, on August 31 two C-130Js delivered 11 tonnes of equipment to Erbil. The load consisted of 7.62mm ammunition provided by other nations, plus body armour, helmets and sleeping bags provided by the UK. RAF C-17A Globemaster Ills have additionally transported a range of non-lethal support, gifted by the UK, and intended for Kurdish forces.

No comments: