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April 3 airpower: recon aircraft provide vital intel

4/3/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the airpower summary for April 3. 

In Afghanistan, 35 close-air-support missions were flown in support of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped guided bomb unit- 38s and a GBU-12 on an improvised explosive device production and storage building near Baghdad. A joint terminal attack controller on-scene confirmed the building was destroyed.

Other F-16s provided reconnaissance along a road on the west bank of the Tigris River near Sammara. The F-16s also provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, for a coalition forces objective near Sammara.

Near Amiriyah, F-16s conducted counter-IED surveillance along multiple routes and reported a hot spot on the edge of the pavement of one route.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet dropped a GBU-38 on a building containing insurgents who were firing on coalition forces near al Jazirah. The building was destroyed and the small-arms fire ceased after the attack.

Other F/A-18s conducted reconnaissance for an insurgent position and suspicious activity for a coalition objective near Salman Pak.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 60 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, 17 Air Force, Navy and Royal Australian Air force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

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 171 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 811 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,063 passengers were transported. This included about 14,633 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 1, Air Force and RAF tankers flew 38 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.4 million pounds of fuel.

During the month of March, the Combined Air and Space Operations Center's director of space forces staff supported 15 space support requests for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, delivering 203 specific effects.

For Operation Iraqi Freedom, 16 space-support requests were serviced, delivering 185 specific effects. 

The director of space forces staff continued to support coalition carrier strike groups in the Central Command region through space-based battlespace characterization in the North Arabian Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz.

Standing space-support requests provided updated navigation accuracy predictions to operational planners in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The staff also developed processes to track the availability of satellites for monitoring personnel recovery locator beacons.

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