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Feb. 27 airpower: tankers fuel fighting force

2/27/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for Feb. 27.

In Afghanistan Feb. 26, an Air Force B1-B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31 joint direct attack munitions on enemy rocket positions near Musa Qal'eh. The B1-B pilot observed 30 to 40 enemy insurgents firing rockets at coalition forces before successfully dropping GBU-31s on target as reported by a joint terminal attack controller on the ground.

Another B-1B dropped a GBU-38 and GBU-31 JDAMS on anti-coalition firing positions near Tarin Kowt. Direct hits were reported for both targets by the JTAC.

Air Force F-15 Eagles provided close-air support for coalition troops receiving mortar fire near Musa Qal'eh.  An F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a GBU-38 on the mortar fire position, directly hitting it.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped GBU-38s on mortar positions near Tarin Kowt. The weapons impacted desired targets.

In total, 31 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Ten Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, 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 F-16 Falcons provided close-air support to coalition troops receiving enemy small-arms fire from a truck mounted with anti-aircraft artillery near Yasin. The coalition troops followed the truck to a building where the anti-Iraqi personnel entered. An F-16 expended cannon fire, destroying the truck along with two rocket propelled grenade launchers.

Air Force F-16s were assigned to perform conter-improvised explosive device searches on a convoy route and to provide over head support for a convoy near Baghdad .

Other Air Force F-16s provided overhead support for a convoy near Shumaytah. The F-16s also searched for suspicious activity after coalition forces received small arms fire.

Air Force F-16s provided over-watch for a convoy after it received small arms fire near Balad. The F-16s also provided over-watch for a checkpoint in the same area after it received small arms fire.

Air Force F-16s supported multiple small Marine operating teams by searching for potential Anti-Iraqi personnel near Balad.

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, 15 Air Force, Navy and RAF 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 130 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 570 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,610 passengers were transported.

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

On Feb. 25, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 32 sorties and off-loaded almost 2.1 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of over 52 full Air Force fuel trucks.

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