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Feb. 24 airpower: Bombers on patrol

2/24/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- In Afghanistan on Feb. 23, a U.S. Air Force B-1B was assigned to observe a compound for possible insurgent targets near Musa Qal'eh. Coalition forces were taking small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades from insurgents in the compound. The B-1B pilot surveyed the compound and reported intelligence to the Joint Terminal Attack Controller.

The B-1B was then assigned to observe three vehicles near Zarak. The B-1B pilot located the vehicles and reported their location to the JTAC to relay to the ground commander.

Royal Air Force GR-7s were assigned to search for anti-aircraft artillery in an area south of Now Zad. The GR-7 pilots observed two compounds with suspicious equipment and a large number of people. The GR-7 pilots then observed a large number of people with vehicles, conducting military style training. The GR-7 passed this information to the JTAC.

In total, 49 close air support missions were flown in support of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

10 U.S. 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, U.S. Air Force F-16s provided close air support for a Marine element receiving small arms fire from anti-Iraqi insurgents near Julaybah. The F-16s dropped Guided Bomb Unit-12s on two compounds where anti-Iraqi insurgents were seeking shelter.

U.S. Air Force F-16s provided a show of force for Coalition ground forces entering an area of possible sniper fire near Camp Condor. The F-16s provided a show of force, expended flares and searched for any possible surface-to-air threats. The show of force was successful and allowed Coalition ground forces to enter the area.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 48 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 U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Royal Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

U.S. Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. More than 170 airlift sorties were flown; more than 500 tons of cargo were delivered, and close to 4,135 passengers were transported. This included about 20,800 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in eastern Afghanistan.

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

On Feb. 18, U.S. Air Force, Royal Air Force and French Air Force tankers flew 38 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.4 million pounds of fuel which is equivalent to more than 60 full Air Force Logistics Readiness fuel trucks.

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