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March 29 airpower: A-10s provide overwatch for coalition

3/29/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 29.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31s and GBU-38s on insurgent buildings, a tunnel and wall near Sangin. The attack came after coalition forces received small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire from those locations.  An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the targets were directly hit.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped GBU-38s on an insurgent building and courtyard near Kajaki Dam. The targets were reported as destroyed.

Near Garmsir, other Air Force F-15Es fired on an enemy firing position in a tree line. A JTAC confirmed the attack was successful.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers fired rockets and dropped a 540-pound air burst bomb on enemy firing points near Kajaki Dam. A JTAC confirmed successful hits and enemy fire ceased.

In total, 32 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.

In Iraq, an Air Force B1-B provided a show of force for coalition forces traveling from Forward Operating Base Sykes. Multiple shows of force were needed for coalition forces receiving small-arms fire and to disperse a crowd. A JTAC reported the shows of force were successful.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided overwatch for a coalition convoy that received small arms fire near Baghdad. The F-16s then conducted counter-improvised explosive device searches along multiple routes. The pilots reported three possible IED locations.

Near Bayji, other Air Force F-16s conducted counter-improvised explosive device searches and reported a hot spot to a JTAC.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolts IIs provided overwatch for coalition forces conducting clearing operations near Baghdad. The A-10s also provided a show of force and released multiple flares for coalition forces who noticed groups of people gathering near a mosque.

Near Irbil, Air Force F-16s provided multiple shows of force over an area where a vehicle-borne IED had exploded. The show of force was reported as successful by the JTAC.

Other Air Force F-16s provided a show of force for coalition forces leaving a raid near Baghdad. Ground forces captured and detained six individuals during the raid. 

RAF GR-7s provided a show of force for ground forces entering a village near Baqubah. No attacks were reported after the show of force.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 67 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, 16 Air Force, Navy and RAF ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. U.S. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles with electro-optical and infrared sensors.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Nearly 150 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 465 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,465 passengers were transported.

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

On March 27, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 32 sorties and off-loaded more than 1.9 million pounds of fuel.

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