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Feb. 22 airpower: F-15s stop sniper fire

2/22/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- SOUTHWEST ASIA -- In Afghanistan Feb. 20, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided close-air support for International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF troops, receiving sniper fire near Now Zad. The joint terminal attack controller, or JTAC, gave coordinates to a compound where the sniper fire originated and an F-15E dropped a Guided Bomb Unit-39 small diameter bomb. JTAC called the hit successful and reported sniper fire had stopped.

The F-15Es were then assigned to provide close-air support for ISAF troops receiving mortar and small arms fire near Now Zad.  An F-15E dropped a GBU-12 successfully on enemy position. JTAC reported the mortar fire had stopped. The F-15Es remained in the area to search for a ridgeline for mortar firing positions and movement of enemy personnel.

A B-1 was assigned to locate and destroy an enemy firing position in a cave complex near Now Zad. The B1-B pilot recommended dropping a GBU-31, however, the ground commander relayed through the JTAC that the cave was no longer a valid target because enemy insurgents had moved on.

The B-1B was then assigned to provide a show of force for ISAF troops engaged in enemy contact near Deh Rawod. The JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Royal Air Force GR-7s provided air support for ISAF troops receiving mortar fire near Now Zad. A GR-7 released an Enhanced Pave Way II laser-guided bomb on the enemy mortar position. The JTAC reported a direct hit.

In total, 34 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols. 

Eleven Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, U.S. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles.

In Iraq , Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs conducted a show of force, dispensing 24 flares near Al Mahmudiyah. The show of force was successful according to the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers.

The A-10s were also assigned with observing a mosque for a possible sniper in the bell tower in the same area.

Then, JTAC gave an update that coalition forces were taking small arms fire from the north and south of their position and the A-10s were sent on a reconnaissance mission at a building where the suspected small arms fire originated.

The A-10 pilots observed coalition forces evacuating wounded personnel and moving north. Then, JTAC requested a show of force over the suspected building while the ground coalition forces cleared the building. No further enemy activity was observed.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided over watch near Baghdad in support of a downed helicopter recovery efforts.

Royal Air Force GR-4s were tasked to provide over watch for a suspicious building where an improvised explosive device had been reported. The GR-4s proceeded with close air support to look for suspicious vehicles and individuals near a building in the vicinity of Ramadi. They were then assigned to look for suspicious activity on the east side of the river where two boats pulled up to an island, appeared to load material and then headed down stream to offload the material.

The GR-4s were also assigned to look for other suspicious activity in the area, to include the investigation of an explosion. The GR-4 pilots reported several hot spots, and that friendly forces had arrived in the area.

Air Force F-16 pilots provided over watch and were assigned to search for suspicious vehicles in Ramadi as well. A Bongo Truck was detected and the vehicle was tracked to a probable residence. Several personnel met the vehicle at the location and appeared to either load or unload unidentified items to and from the truck. The activity was reported to JTAC.

Other F-16s were tasked to provide surveillance to Kamaliyah sector of Baghdad in preparation for a convoy movement. They arrived at the location and then provided over watch and search of the area during the cordon.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 49 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, U.S. Navy and Royal Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq .

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 150 airlift sorties; delivered more than 670 tons of cargo, and transported close to 3,115 passengers.

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

On Feb. 20, Air Force, Royal Air Force and French Air Force tankers flew 31 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2 million pounds of fuel, which is the equivalent of nearly 50 full Air Force R-11 fuel trucks. 



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