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March 14 airpower: B-1 Lancers provide show of force

3/14/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 14.

In Afghanistan March 13, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on enemy buildings near Sangin. The B-1B strike came after coalition forces received mortar and machine gun fire. A joint terminal attack controller on-scene confirmed direct hits for all weapons.

Another B-1B provided a show of force near Zarghun Shahr. The JTAC called the show of force successful.

One of two Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped a GBU-38 on a building where a JTAC received sniper fire. The JTAC confirmed the building was destroyed.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped a GBU-38 and a GBU-12 on a cave entrance suspected to be an enemy rocket position near Sangin. A JTAC confirmed the cave entrance was destroyed.

One of two other F/A-18s dropped a GBU-12 on a building reported to contain weapon tubes near Sangin. A JTAC confirmed a direct hit on the building. The F/A-18s also fired cannon rounds at enemies in a tree line near the same area. A JTAC confirmed the rounds hit the desired target.

Other F/A-18s conducted aerial reconnaissance for suspicious activity at a mountain pass and an area containing tents near Sangin.

Near Now Zad, F/A-18s conducted aerial reconnaissance for mortar firing positions and suspicious individuals near a coalition position.

Another F/A-18 dropped a GBU-38 on enemy insurgents near Now Zad. In the same area, F/A-18s dropped GBU-12s on insurgent buildings. Good effects were reported for all targets.

In total, 55 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 information, 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 provided close-air support for coalition quick reaction forces that arrived on scene near Baghdad after three objects were reported burning, one of which was confirmed to be a vehicle. The same coalition forces received small-arms fire but could not locate the origin.

Other F-16s were called to a location in Baghdad to support coalition forces that were in a small-arms fight.  Both F-16 engagements were reported complete.

Also, near Baghdad, more F-16s were assigned to provide overwatch for a convoy hit by an improvised explosive device. The F-16s provided a show of force until recovery operations could be completed. The show of force was a success. The F-16s were then assigned overwatch for a cordon and a counter-mortar mission.

Near Salman Pak, F-16s conducted an overwatch of coalition and enemy positions. The close-air support was declared complete.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 48 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions provided 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. An Air Force fighter aircraft also 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 130 airlift sorties were flown; about 455 tons of cargo was delivered, and approximately 2,260 passengers were transported.

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

On March 12, Air Force, Royal Air Force and French tanker crews 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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