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April 7 airpower summary: C-17s sustain operations

4/7/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces officials have released the following airpower summary: 

In Afghanistan April 6, U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagles provided a show of force to deter insurgent activity near Asadabad. A Joint Terminal Attack Controller reported that insurgents were planning to surround Coalition forces within the area. The F-15 show of force was successful in deterring the insurgents from maneuvering.

Near the Kajaki Dam, other F-15s released 20 mm cannon rounds followed by Guided Bomb Unit-12s on a building that was being used as an enemy fighting position. A JTAC confirmed good hits.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted air reconnaissance of a road near Delaram and provided shows of force at the request of a ground commander through the unit's JTAC. The JTAC confirmed good effects for the F/A-18 shows of force.

Other F/A-18s conducted surveillance and reconnaissance for suspicious personnel and observed a large hot spot near Sangin. The F/A-18s reported a parked car, motorcycles and approximately six people. A JTAC directed the F/A-18s to drop a GBU-38 on the insurgents in the open. The weapon was confirmed a direct hit.

Near Sangin, more F/A-18s released GBU-12s and GBU-38s on a desired target at the request of a ground commander and under the precise direction of a JTAC. The JTAC stated that the coordinates were good and that the weapons impacted the target. 

Royal Air Force GR-7A Harrier IIs released Enhanced Paveway II munitions on insurgents observed gathering within a compound where Coalition forces received fire near Sangin. 

The Coalition forces ground commander requested the JTAC call in ordnance to destroy the main building within the compound. The GR-7As released CRV-7 rockets within the compound. The JTAC confirmed direct hits.

Near Asadabad, U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers provided overwatch for an air assault taking place. A JTAC passed word to the aircrew of a potential firing mission on an insurgent position. The B11Bs continued top cover until the activity ceased.

In total, 47 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance 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, near Salman Pak, U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-12s on a moving vehicle that was reported to contain an insurgent mortar team. Coalition forces had been taking mortar and sniper fire from multiple positions when the F-16s located a group of individuals leaving the firing location in a vehicle. After the bombs hit the vehicle, the JTAC aligned with the Coalition ground forces reported that the vehicle stopped and that there was no movement inside.

Near Diwaniyah, other F-16s provided overwatch for Coalition ground forces that came in contact with insurgents. The F-16 pilots searched the area for snipers on roof tops and other insurgent activity and reported possible activity to a JTAC for the Coalition ground commander's action.

In the same area, more F-16s provided overwatch for a cordon established to conduct a search. The pilots also searched a tire factory and saw individuals, but they did not appear suspicious. The F-16s were then assigned counter improvised explosive device missions.

In support of the Coalition ground commander's objectives, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided armed overwatch for a Stryker Battalion also in the vicinity of Diwaniyah. The A-10s scanned the area for IED emplacers and observed individuals carrying rocket-propelled grenades.

U.S. Air Force F-16s conducted overwatch for Coalition forces taking fire from insurgents near Balad. At the ground commander's request, the ground unit's JTAC directed the F-16s to look for white sedan vehicles in the area.

Near Baghdad, other F-16s provided overwatch for a raid in progress and under mortar attack. The F-16s also conducted counter-IED missions in the area.

Near Baghdad, Royal Air Force GR-4 Harrier IIs looked for suspicious activity to include a truck with a machine gun and other vehicles. The GR-4s then conducted air reconnaissance to support a moving convoy. More GR-4s joined the search for the truck with the machine gun and for personnel on rooftops launching rockets and mortars in the area.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 48 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, 19 U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

U.S. Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Approximately 160 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 440 tons of cargo were delivered, and more than 2,625 passengers were transported. This included about 10,400 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 5, U.S. Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force crews flew 44 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.8 million pounds of fuel.

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