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Feb. 23 airpower: Airlifters move people and cargo daily

2/23/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for Feb. 23.

In Afghanistan Feb. 22, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles were assigned to drop guided bomb unit-12s on an enemy compound near Now Zad. One of the F-15E successfully dropped a GBU-12 laser guided bomb on the northern part of the compound. The joint terminal attack controller then observed enemies evacuating the south end of the compound and requested another F-15E attack. An F-15E dropped a GBU-12 on the south end of compound and the JTAC confirmed a good battle damage assessment.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets provided shows of force, expending flares near Gardez and Now Zad. The JTAC confirmed good effects near Gardez and could not determine the effects near Now Zad.

In total, 40 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Five 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 with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq , Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs conducted a strike against anti-Iraqi insurgents engaging with coalition forces. An A-10 dropped a GBU-12 on an insurgent compound and the JTAC confirmed the compound was destroyed.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted a strike on an improvised explosive device storage facility near Ramadi.  An F-16 dropped a GBU-12 on the facility but the structure was not destroyed, according to JTAC. Then, an F-16 dropped another GBU-12 on the same facility, successfully destroying it, according to the JTAC.

JTACs are highly trained Air Force personnel who advise ground commanders on appropriate air power support, relay the ground commander's intent to air power assets overhead and communicate with aircrews for precision engagement.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 41 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, 13 Air Force, Navy and Royal Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq .

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan , Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Nearly 120 airlift sorties were flown; more than 565 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,525 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 18, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 34 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.2 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of more than 54 full Air Force fuel trucks.

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