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March 4 airpower: B-1s making presence known

3/4/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS)  -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 4.

Coalition fighters, bombers and tankers provide infrastructure protection and support to coalition troops, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Transports provide intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. 

In Afghanistan March 3, a B-1B Lancer dropped Guided Bomb Unit-31s and GBU-38s on anti-coalition insurgents in an open area near Kajaki. A joint terminal attack controller confirmed direct hits removing the insurgent threat.

Another B-1B dropped GBU-31s and GBU-38s on enemy positions along a tree line, mortar positions and enemy compounds near Sangin. A JTAC reported direct hits for all targets.

Also near Sangin, a Air Force B-1B performed reconnaissance along a route used by coalition forces.

F-15 Strike Eagles provided overwatch for a stopped convoy stuck in the mud near Ghazni protecting ground troops from enemy attacks.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted air reconnaissance for suspicious activity on a road near Sangin.

F/A-18s also observed suspected mortar positions and reported three suspicious personnel close to a compound near Sangin.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers provided surveillance and overwatch for coalition forces conducting an operation near Qurya. The GR-7 pilots and JTAC noticed individuals climbing on a roof. The JTAC believed anti-coalition insurgents were preparing an ambush. At that point, the JTAC came under small arms fire and the GR-7s provided a show of force, releasing nine flares. The JTAC reported enemy fire had ceased and coalition forces moved to a position of cover.

In total, 41 close-air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Nine U.S. and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq , A-10 Thunderbolt observed anti-Iraqi activity near Baghdad. The A-10s used cannon rounds, hitting an anti-Iraqi Bongo truck.

F-16 Fighting Falcons were assigned to support an Army field artillery unit observing artillery impact areas. The pilots then provided overwatch for a disabled coalition vehicle while a ground unit recovered the vehicle.

Other F-16s provided overwatch for a convoy hit by an improvised explosive device near Baghdad. The pilots reported individuals on a roof nearby.

Near Baqubah, F-16s conducted a show of force to stop shooters from harassing an engineering crew during a road repair.

An F-16 performed a show of force when a JTAC observed individuals gathering together to set up for a possible enemy attack near Combat Observation Post Ford. The JTAC confirmed the show of force was successful. The aircraft later conducted counter IED reconnaissance per the ground commanders direction.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 50 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 and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

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. The flew approximately 145 airlift sorties, delivered almost 500 tons of cargo and transported approximately 3,940 passengers.

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

On March 2, Air Force and Royal Air Force flew 33 sorties and off-loaded more than 1.9 million pounds of fuel, which is the equivalent of almost 50 full Air Force logistics readiness fuel trucks.

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