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March 7 airpower: C-130s provide in-theater tactical airlift

3/7/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 7.

In Afghanistan March 6, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, for coalition forces who sustained casualties from small-arms fire near Sangin. A joint terminal attack controller, or JTAC, reported the B-1B's presence reduced the engagement.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided reconnaissance of suspicious activity at two compounds and along a ridge near Kajaki Dam, in support of Operation Achilles.

Near Sangin, Navy F/A-18s provided reconnaissance of suspected mortar positions and weapons cache.

Navy F/A-18 crews observed a suspected enemy firing position in an open field near Sangin. The F/A-18s then provided an escort for leaflet drops in the same area carried out by an Air Force C-130 Hercules crew.

Also near Sangin, Navy F/A-18s received coordinates for a compound where enemy fire was originating. One of the F/A-18s dropped a guided bomb unit-12 on the compound. A JTAC reported a good hit with an unusually large initial explosion and at least ten secondary explosions, possibly indicating destruction of a weapons cache.

Other Navy F/A-18s dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on two separate anti-coalition insurgent buildings near Sangin. All weapons hit the desired target as confirmed by a JTAC. Other F/A-18s also dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on enemy forces in a wooded area and another enemy building near Sangin.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers released enhanced Paveway II munitions and a 540-pound bomb on enemy trench systems near Kajaki Dam. The weapons directly hit the targets, according to a JTAC.

French M2000 Mirages provided a show of force for coalition forces receiving rocket fire near Now Zad.

In total, 54 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 RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided reconnaissance of improvised explosive device activity and groups of individuals near Baqubah. The F-16s then provided overwatch for a convoy receiving small-arms fire from enemies in a building.

Other Air Force F-16s provided a show of force over a mosque where coalition forces were engaged by small-arms fire. A JTAC confirmed it to be successful. The F-16s also were assigned to observe coalition ground forces conducting a cordon and search near the same area.

RAF GR-4 Tornados observed and reported a mortar firing position near Baqubah that was used to attack Basrah Air Force Base.

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, 18 Air Force, Navy, RAF and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. An Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a non-traditional ISR role with electro-optical and infrared sensors.

Air Force C-130s and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. About 170 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 500 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,735 passengers were transported. This included about 12,000 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in eastern Afghanistan.

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

On March 4, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 38 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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