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March 27 airpower: Fighters provide overwatch

3/27/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 27. 

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on insurgents in an open area and others hiding behind a wall near Tarin Kowt.  An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the targets were directly hit.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped GBU-38s and GBU-39s on two enemy buildings used as a small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade firing positions near Now Zad. A JTAC confirmed the buildings were destroyed.

Another F-15E dropped a GBU-38 on a building containing an enemy firing position near Tarin Kowt. The strike came at the request of the JTAC after coalition forces received small-arms, mortar and RPG fire from the building. The JTAC confirmed the building was destroyed.

Near Kajaki Dam, an F-15E dropped a GBU-38 on an enemy occupied building. The insurgents entered the building after engaging coalition forces with RPGs. The aircrew and the JTAC reported the weapon was a direct hit and the building was completely leveled.

In total, 28 close-air-support missions were flown in support of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Seven 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 A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided overwatch for coalition forces receiving small-arms and RPG fire near Baghdad. The A-10s also provided reconnaissance for a suspected enemy mortar position and reported various suspicious activity in the area.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted counter-improvised explosive device missions on several routes near Baghdad.

Near Tal Afar, F-16s provided a show of force for a coalition convoy attacked by a vehicle carrying an IED. A JTAC reported the show of force as successful. The F-16s also provided overwatch for a high-level meeting near Tal Afar.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted reconnaissance over an area where insurgents placed an IED near Baqubah, according to reports. The F/A-18 pilots observed suspected IED placers in a white truck leaving the location and heading north at a high rate of speed. The F/A-18 pilots passed the coordinates of the vehicle to ground forces before leaving the scene.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 66 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, 13 Air Force, Navy, Royal Air Force 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.

U.S. 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. Nearly 145 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 375 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,675 passengers were transported. This included about 55,840 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia flew in support of OIF or OEF.

On Mar. 25, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 42 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.7 million pounds of fuel.

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