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April 6 airpower summary: B-1Bs aid ground forces

4/6/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the following airpower summary:

In Afghanistan April 5, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided two shows of force, releasing multiple flares, for coalition ground forces receiving small-arms fire near Oruzgan. A on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported that the insurgents, firing from a compound, ceased fire after the shows of force.

Near Sangin, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a guided bomb unit-38 on a building where insurgents had retreated after firing rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at coalition forces. A JTAC confirmed the building was destroyed.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped GBU-12s on an insurgent compound near Sangin. A JTAC confirmed the desired target was hit.

In total, 45 close-air-support missions were flown in support of International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Seven Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Navy fighter aircraft performed in non-traditional ISR roles with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Iraq, F-16 Fighting Falcons provided overwatch for a downed helicopter near Mahmudiyah. The pilots looked for insurgents gathering in the area. The pilots also provided reconnaissance over a nearby petroleum center and a suspected mortar position.

Other F-16s were called to provide overwatch for a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter that was downed by enemy fire south of Baghdad. The pilots also searched for insurgents who attacked coalition forces at the crash site. The pilots were also instructed to search for a vehicle that stopped and reportedly set an object in the road.

Near Baghdad, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided a show of force and released multiple flares for coalition forces receiving small-arms fire. A JTAC reported the show of force produced good effects.

Air Force A-10s conducted reconnaissance for suspicious activity and IED placers at multiple locations and routes near Baghdad.

Near Bayji, F-16s conducted overwatch of a coalition convoy and searched multiple routes for insurgents placing improvised explosive devices.

Other F-16s watched over coalition forces placing barriers near Baghdad. The pilots also supported nearby coalition forces salvaging a vehicle that struck an IED.

Near Najaf, F-16s provided overwatch for a coalition convoy.

Air Force A-10 pilots witnessed a firefight break out near Mahmudiyah. The pilots were unsure who was firing and reported the location to a JTAC. The JTAC requested a show of force to show insurgents that there was air support in the area. The JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Navy F/A-18s conducted reconnaissance for coalition forces searching a village near Hawija. The pilots reported the coordinates of an individual running to the village and suspicious activity associated with a vehicle in the open.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados provided reconnaissance for suspected enemy mortar positions near Mahmudiyah. The pilots reported vehicles loading and unloading objects nearby.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 62 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 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. Approximately 155 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 590 tons of cargo were delivered, and more than 3,800 passengers were transported. This included about 27,600 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 3, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 41 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.8 million pounds of fuel.

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