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March 1 airpower: C-17s provide intra-theater airlift

3/1/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 1.

In Afghanistan Feb. 28, an Air Force B1-B Lancer provided a show of force and expended flares for coalition forces receiving mortar fire near Energay. The ground commander's intent was met and the mortar fire ceased according to the joint terminal attack controller in the area.

Another B1-B also provided a show of force with flares and chaff for coalition forces near Sangin. The JTAC reported the intended effect was achieved.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots observed approximately 12 enemy personnel near Sangin. While conducting a pass, the pilots received an indication of an unknown radar signal and consequently maneuvered and released flares.

Other F/A-18 pilots observed three suspicious individuals next to a compound near Now Zad. The pilots then noticed a flash on the ground and a white smoke trail that burned out at approximately 500 feet from the ground. The pilots maneuvered while releasing flares. One of the pilots dropped a guided bomb unit-12, hitting the compound in response to small arms fire activity.

In total, 35 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Seven 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 with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq , F-16 Fighting Falcons were assigned a reconnaissance mission near Baghdad. The pilots reported multiple hot spots, with possible wires, a tire and several objects lined up across a road. The F-16s responded to troops in contact and provided close air support for a disabled Bradley vehicle.

A medical evacuation convoy in the area was hit by an improvised explosive device which disabled a Humvee. The F-16 pilots provided overwatch until the Humvee was towed.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados were assigned to support JTACs who reported a main battle tank hit by enemy fire and injured coalition forces. The GR-4s were assigned to look for the shooters and provide overwatch of the area while the convoy was extracted.

During another incident near Baghdad , F-16s provided shows of force to support more troops in contact. The coalition forces began receiving sniper fire from an unknown location, and it was reported a group of individuals were in the road blocking their departure route. The coalition forces could not provide counter fire because the source of the enemy fire could not be located. A JTAC requested a show of force be conducted as low as possible. The show of force was successful because the sniper fire stopped and the individuals dispersed.

More F-16s were assigned to conduct overwatch of coalition ground troops who were attempting to recover a damaged vehicle in Baghdad. The F-16 pilots provided reconnaissance of the area surrounding the coalition forces' location. The pilots were looking for anti-Iraqi personnel and suspicious activity.

Near Ramadi, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs performed a counter-improvised-explosive-device reconnaissance mission. The A-10s responded to coalition forces taking small-arms fire from multiple individuals in the area. The A-10 pilots reported they had eyes on the friendly position and coordinated for a show of force.

Air Force A-10s fired cannon rounds at a vehicle containing explosives near Baqubah. The A-10 pilots destroyed the vehicle after it was tracked by an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Other Air Force A-10s were assigned to provide overwatch for coalition forces receiving small-arms fire from roof tops near Baqubah. The pilots observed three individuals on a roof and gave coordinates to a JTAC.

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, 14 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. About 150 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 450 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,900 passengers were transported.

A coalition C-130 crew from Canada and Japan flew in support of OIF or OEF.

On Feb. 26, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 32 sorties and off-loaded almost 2.1 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of more than 52 full Air Force fuel trucks.

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