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March 30 airpower: B-1B protects coalition convoy

3/30/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for March 30.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force for a coalition convoy with vehicle problems near Kabul. The B-1B also provided a show of force for another convoy that received small arms fire in the same area.

In Nuresanr, a B-1B observed insurgents moving away from coalition forces and reported the coordinates to a joint terminal attack controller. The B-1B also provided aerial reconnaissance for an ambushed convoy and possible ambush sites in the same area.

Near Gereshk, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped GBU-12 bombs on a machine gun position. A JTAC confirmed the weapons hit the desired location.

Other Air Force F-15Es provided overwatch for an ambushed coalition convoy with two disabled vehicles near Nuresanr. No further attacks were reported after the F-15Es arrived on scene.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers dropped Enhanced Paveway II munitions on a suspected insurgent cave entrance near Sangin. A JTAC confirmed a direct hit on the target.

French Air Force M2000 Mirages provided shows of force for coalition forces near Asmar.

In total, 43 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs searched rooftops for insurgents after a coalition convoy received small arms fire near Baghdad. The pilots also observed a house into which insurgents were suspected to have fled into after the ambush. The pilots continued to observe the area while coalition forces prepared to raid the house. 

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons looked for counter-improvised explosive devices along multiple routes and provided reconnaissance of a building coalition forces will raid near Baghdad.

Near Tal Afar, Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets reported a hot spot in a road with wire running from it to bushes on the shoulder of road. In the same area, the F-18 pilots also performed a show of force over a suspected insurgent position near coalition forces. No attacks were reported after the show of force.

Other F/A-18s were assigned to search for an anti-Iraqi forces training facility near Al Khalis. The pilots found the building and dropped GBU-38s, directly hitting it, according to a JTAC.

The F/A-18s then conducted reconnaissance of suspicious activity in the area and after receiving coordinates from a JTAC, the aircraft dropped GBU-38s on an insurgent fighting position. A JTAC confirmed good hits.

Near Baghdad, more F/A-18s conducted air reconnaissance for suspicious activity at a farm and in the vicinity of a Coalition convoy. The pilots reported numerous people near a crater and possible small arms fire. They continued air reconnaissance near a disabled Humvee and possible weapons cache.

Near Ad Dawr, F/A-18s provided air reconnaissance for a coalition convoy responding to an improvised explosive device attack. The F/A-18s also provided shows of force to make their presence known following reports of suspicious activity in the area. A JTAC reported the shows of force as successful.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 63 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. 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. More than 140 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 310 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,430 passengers were transported.

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

On March 28, Air Force, RAF and French air force tankers flew 40 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.4 million pounds of fuel.

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