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March 8 airpower: F-15Es provide close-air support in Afghanistan

3/8/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 8. 

In Afghanistan March 7, a B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s and GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions on enemy personnel and a building near Garmsir, in support of Operation Achilles. The on-scene joint terminal attack controller and ground forces observed direct hits.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided close-air support for coalition forces near Garmsir.  The F-15Es fired cannon rounds on enemy forces in the open, dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on buildings known to contain enemy forces and on buildings where insurgents hid after initial air strikes. 

A Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet dropped a GBU-12 on an enemy mortar position and another on a cave entrance where an enemy mortar spotter was located near Now Zad. A JTAC confirmed good hits on both targets.

Other Navy F/A-18s provided reconnaissance of a suspected mortar position near Sangin.

Near Asadabad, Navy F/A-18s conducted shows of force over a suspected Taliban compound and an area suspected of small-arms fire. A JTAC confirmed good effects for the show of force.

Navy F/A-18 pilots also observed and reported a group of compounds where enemy personnel were suspected of firing rockets at coalition forces near Garmir.

Other Navy F/A-18s provided a show of force over a compound for coalition forces receiving mortar fire near Sangin.  A JTAC reported the show of force was successful as enemy fire had ceased. The F/A-18s also provided overwatch for a coalition convoy and reconnaissance for a roadway in the same area.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers provided a show of force for a coalition convoy attacked by multiple rocket propelled grenades at the gate of a forward operating base near Garmsir. The GR-7 pilots reported individuals observing the patrol from inside a compound.

Other GR-7s released enhanced Paveway II munitions, 540-pound bombs and a rocket on enemy individuals in the open and in buildings near Garmsir. The weapons directly hit the targets, according to a JTAC.

In total, 57 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight U.S. 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.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided reconnaissance of suspicious individuals and provided a show of force over a large group of people near Balad. A JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Other Air Force F-16s provided reconnaissance of a house in which anti-Iraqi insurgents involved in a previous engagement were hiding. The F-16 pilots watched the house until the arrival of coalition forces. 

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs performed armed reconnaissance in support of counter-improvised explosive device mission near Iskandariyah.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 46 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 and Navy 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. Approximately 165 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 500 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,770 passengers were transported.

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

On March 6, U.S., RAF and French tankers flew 39 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.6 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of 65 full Air Force fuel trucks.

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