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Feb. 18 airpower: F-16s provide over watch for search team

2/18/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for Feb. 18.

In Afghanistan Feb. 17, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets conducted a strike against insurgents Near Qurya. The Hornet strike-fighters dropped guided bomb unit-38 joint direct attack munitions on insurgent compounds and infrastructure with direct hits confirmed by weapons system video.

In total, 39 close-air-support missions were flown in support of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Four Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles using their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq , Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided over watch for a cordon and search team. The fighters also supported coalition troops in contact with enemy forces around a mosque near Bayji and later supported two coalition convoys under fire near Samarra. After the attack in Samarra, the F-16s provided over watch for the convoys until coalition personnel located and detained the anti-Iraqi insurgents believed to have carried out the attack. The F-16s later provided over watch for coalition forces working a counter-improvised explosive device mission.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados were tasked to observe troop routes and an intersection of two routes where an illegal checkpoint was believed to be located near Baghdad. The GR-4s were then tasked to provide over watch for humvees engaged by four individuals on foot near Baghdad.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 57 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Additionally, 16 Air Force, Navy, RAF and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intratheater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. These aircraft flew more than 160 airlift sorties delivering more than 410 tons of cargo including more than 9,000 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped into eastern Afghanistan. Airlifters transported 4,100 passengers.

Coalition C-130 crews from Canada and Australia flew in support of OIF or OEF.

On Feb. 16, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 41 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.6 million pounds of fuel.

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