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March 17 airpower: Strike Eagles return fire in Afghanistan

3/17/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- SOUTHWEST ASIA -- In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles supporting coalition forces returned fire to an enemy location near Now Zad. 

The F-15s made three passes over the target area, expending multiple Guided Bomb Unit-12s, GBU-38s and 20 mm cannon rounds on enemy firing positions. A Joint Terminal Attack Controller and a review of the weapon system video by aircrew confirms the strikes destroyed the enemy target.

A Air Force B-1B Lancer performed a show of force, expending flares over a coalition position near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Coalition ground forces conducted a raid on four buildings and detained six men. The show of force was successful according to the JTAC involved.

Near Shkin, another Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of presence in support of the Afghan National Army.

Near Fulad, Navy F/A-18s provided high cover while other F/A-18s conducted a leaflet drop. The drop was successful; weapon system video confirmed the dispersal packages opened and the leaflets were dispensed.

More Navy F/A-18s provided close air support near Shkin and dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s in support of coalition forces. A JTAC requested ordnance on a building in the area and confirmed the weapons impacted the desired target.

Also near Shkin, at the request of the ground commander via the JTAC, other F/A-18s conducted a show of force over the location of Coalition forces. The JTAC confirmed that the show of force was successful.

In total, 37 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Seven Air Force and Royal Air Force Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. U.S. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles with electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided overwatch for coalition ground forces near Baghdad. After a JTAC confirmed the area clear, the F-16s rolled into the area with eyes on target. The F-16s released 20 mm cannon rounds in an area where enemy forces were digging on the side of the road. A JTAC confirmed the attack was successful.

Near Baghdad, F-16s conducted a show of force at the request of a JTAC to make enemy personnel leave the area. The F-16s also supported counter-improvised explosive device operations and were assigned to look for suspicious activity and individuals carrying weapons in the area.

In the same area, F-16s conducted overwatch of coalition forces conducting a raid in support of Operation Black Magic. The F-16 pilots did not locate any threats to coalition ground forces.

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs were assigned counter improvised explosive device reconnaissance in the vicinity of an intersection near Baghdad.

F-16s Fighting Falcons responded to coalition forces at a forward operating base attacked by approximately eight mortar rounds near Ad Diwaniyah. The F-16 pilots checked in with a JTAC and proceeded to search for the point of origin of the mortars. The F-16s also provided cover for a convoy.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 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, Navy and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq

Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Nearly 165 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 395 tons of cargo was delivered, and approximately 3,925 passengers were transported.

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

On March 14, Air Force, Royal Air Force and French Air Force crews flew over 30 sorties and off-loaded more than 1.7 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of nearly 50 full Air Force Logistics Readiness fuel trucks.

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