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Feb. 21 airpower: B-1B hits enemy communications compound

2/21/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for Feb. 21.

In Afghanistan Feb. 20, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided close-air support for International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops surrounded by enemy forces and vehicles preparing for an ambush near Kajaki. The joint terminal attack controller, or JTAC, gave coordinates to the enemy locations and the B-1 dropped GBU-31 bombs and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack munitions on the enemy locations, successfully hitting all targets according to the JTAC report. 

An Air Force B-1B was then assigned to drop GBU-38s and GBU-31s on an enemy communications' compound near Kajaki. All weapons were successfully dropped within parameters according to the JTAC.

An Air Force B-1B was assigned to drop GBU-31s on a mortar position and an enemy compound near Nowzad. The JTAC called both weapons direct hits. 

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons were assigned to provide shows of force and collect target data for a coalition vehicle patrol convey near Kajaki. The F-16s provided the shows of force and reported the detection of a compound with individuals near the convoy. 

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles, coordinating with JTACs, dropped GBU-38s on an enemy vehicle near Kajaki.

In total, 37 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Nine Air Force and Royal 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.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16s were assigned to drop a GBU-12 and a GBU-38 on two tractor trailers suspected of carrying improvised explosive devices near Baghdad. The F-16s destroyed the tractor trailers. 

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided a show of force for coalition forces receiving small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire after their vehicle was struck by an IED near Baqubah. The A-10s provided three shows of force. After the shows of force, coalition ground forces continued to receive small arm and RPG fire. The JTAC on the ground then passed coordinates for anti-Iraqi insurgents in an open area. The A-10s fired cannon rounds at enemy targets with all gun passes successful according to the JTAC.

Coalition forces continued to receive small arms fire from anti-Iraqi insurgents in a set of compounds. The JTAC passed coordinates for the compounds and an A-10 fired cannon rounds at enemy targets. The A-10s checked off-site with nothing further to report.

Air Force F-16s were assigned to observe a coalition route near Al Yusifiyah. The F-16 pilots observed that the ground in the middle of a road was disturbed and immediately reported it to the JTAC.

Other Air Force F-16s were assigned to provide over watch for a convoy that received small arms fire after a vehicle was hit by an IED. The F-16s were then reassigned to provide over watch of medical members evacuating wounded to a forward-operating base.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 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, 15 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. An Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a non-traditional ISR role with electro-optical and infrared sensors. 

Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Airlifters flew nearly 140 airlift sorties; delivered more than 465 tons of cargo, and transported approximately 3,300 passengers.

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

On Feb. 19, Air Force and RAF tankers flew 31 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2 million pounds of fuel.

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