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March 6 airpower: Operation Achilles underway

3/6/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 6.

In Afghanistan March 5, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted air reconnaissance for suspected anti-coalition firing positions near Musa Qal'eh.

Other Navy F/A-18s also provided reconnaissance for suspicious activity near Sangin.

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier released an enhanced Paveway II munition on an enemy sentry position near Garmsir. The weapon directly hit the target, according to a joint terminal attack controller on scene.

In total, 52 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force and RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. U.S. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped guided bomb unit-38s, destroying an anti-Iraqi insurgent building near Mosul. The F-16 pilots also watched over a coalition convoy near Mosul.

Other Air Force F-16 pilots searched fields around a coalition convoy that received small-arms fire near Baghdad. The pilots provided overwatch for the convoy, protecting them as they finished their patrol. The pilots then searched for a high-value individual in a palm grove and vehicles suspected of carrying improvised explosive devices near Baghdad.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided armed reconnaissance for coalition forces setting up barriers for perimeter defenses near Baqubah. In the same area, the pilots reported two vehicles that stopped on a route, with two individuals digging on a road, then going back and forth between the vehicles and an area of trees.

The same A-10s provided overwatch for coalition casualties being evacuated after their convoy was hit by two IEDs at a separate location near Baqubah.

In Samarra, Air Force F-16s provided overwatch for a convoy hit by an IED, and scanned the area for the IED triggerman. The F-16 pilots also searched for individuals placing IEDs in a nearby area.

Air Force F-16s performed a show of force to demonstrate air presence over an area of operation near Baqubah. A JTAC confirmed successful results. The pilots also provided overwatch for a building raid nearby.

Other Air Force F-16s also provided overwatch for a raid on a building near Baghdad containing a high-value target. The pilots reported one individual running south of the area to a vehicle. The pilots then conducted a show of force over an enemy position used to attack coalition forces in the past.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 45 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, 11 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. An Air Force fighter performed in a non-traditional ISR role with electro-optical and infrared sensors.

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. More than 160 airlift sorties were flown; approximately 570 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,840 passengers were transported.

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

On March 4, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 37 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.5 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of more than 62 full Air Force fuel trucks. 

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