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March 21 airpower: Rivet Joint provides eye in the sky

3/21/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 21. 

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force over a police station that was surrounded and taking enemy fire near Jalalabad. A joint terminal attack controller on-scene reported that the insurgents broke contact after the show of force.

Another B-1B released multiple flares to provide a show of force for a coalition convoy traveling through a known ambush point near Worzhanah Kalay. No attacks were reported after the show of force.

Another Air Force B-1B dropped guided bomb unit-31s and GBU-38s on enemy buildings near Sangin. The B-1B also dropped a GBU-38 on a tree line from where coalition forces were receiving fire. A JTAC confirmed the B-1B`s weapons were all direct hits.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted aerial reconnaissance for IED emplacement on road or other suspicious activity near Delaram. The F/A-18s also were assigned to provide overwatch for coalition forces in contact with the enemy in the same area.

In total, 47 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the international security assistance force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.
Nine Air Force and Royal Air Force 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 GBU-12s and GBU-38s on enemy buildings near Baghdad. 

Other Air Force F-16s provided overwatch for coalition forces as they set up an ambush site near Salman Pak. The F-16 pilots reported seeing 10 individuals running from one house to another and gave the coordinates to a JTAC.

Near Al Basrah, F-16s provided overwatch for a ceremony transferring control of Basra over to Iraqi forces in a courthouse. The F-16s then provided overwatch for a coalition convoy leaving the courthouse. No attacks were reported.

Near Baghdad, Navy F/A-18s conducted aerial reconnaissance for possible IED activity and observed an area used as an enemy position in the past.

Navy FA/18s conducted counter-enemy force overwatch and located a hotspot near Baghdad. The FA/18s also provided counter-improvised explosive device reconnaissance.

More F/A-18s conducted air reconnaissance of suspected small-arms fire origin. A JTAC requested a show of force and it was confirmed the F/A-18 show of force was successful. The F/A-18s were then assigned overwatch of four coalition Humvees conducting a search of suspected IED emplacement.

Near, Ad Diwaniyah, Navy F/A-18s conducted a reconnaissance on possible enemy fire origin points and reported three to four personnel and two vehicles. The F/A-18s also observed personnel and vehicles near an enemy mortar point of origin. The F/A-18s conducted a show of force, dispensing flares. The JTAC confirmed the show of force was successful.

Near Baghdad, Air Force F-16s provided anti-sniper overwatch. They also conducted counter-IED missions and were directed to provide overwatch of coalition forces in the area. 

RAF GR-4 Tornado pilots reported individuals digging a large hole in the middle of a road near Balad.

Other GR-4 pilots identified and reported a line of disturbed earth across a road near Baqubah.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 64 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, 15 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.  An Air Force aircraft 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 240 airlift sorties were flown; over 475 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,267 passengers were transported.

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

On March 18, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 43 sorties and off-loaded more than 3.0 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of more than 75 full Air Force fuel trucks.

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