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April 12 airpower: F-15s provide overwatch support

4/13/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, in Afghanistan in the following operations April 12, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-31 bombs on insurgents in an open area near Sangin. The B-1Bs also dropped a GBU-31 on an insurgent-occupied building. A joint terminal attack controller observed a direct hit on the building and successful impacts on the other targets.

Another B-1B dropped a GBU-31 on anti-coalition militia near a downed civilian helicopter close to Ghazni. The B-1B was initially assigned to provide a show of force; however, upon the coalition ground commander's request, a JTAC provided the aircrew specific coordinates for the airstrike. The JTAC reported the weapon hit the desired target.

Near Faizabad, a B-1B provided a show of force and was tasked to look for insurgent movement in a certain area. 

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided overwatch of a coalition forces' position that had been previously engaged with enemy rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire near Sangin. The pilots also provided overwatch for a large coalition convoy that struck enemy mines en route to Forward Operating Base Robinson. No attacks were reported after the F-15s' arrival on scene.

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at insurgents carrying weapons near Sangin. The missile was reported to have successfully hit the target.

Near Now Zad, F-15Es provided overwatch of a village being used as a meeting location for local elders. At the coalition ground force commander's direction, the pilots also provided overwatch for a coalition convoy vehicle disabled by a mine in the same area.

Other F-15s provided a show of force in support of a medical evacuation near Asadabad. No attacks on the medical team were reported as they left the area.

A Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet dropped a GBU-31 on a cave suspected of being used by insurgents near Asmar. A JTAC confirmed the weapon successfully hit the desired target.

Other F/A-18s provided shows of force, releasing flares, near Asadabad to clear the area of enemy personnel in preparation for the medical evacuation of wounded Coalition forces members. A JTAC reported that coalition forces received no additional enemy fire as a result of the F/A-18's arrival on scene.

Near Ghazni, an F/A-18s provided a show of force, releasing flares, over a coalition forces' position. A JTAC confirmed the show of force accomplished the effects desired by the coalition ground forces commander.

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier provided a show of force for coalition forces attempting to recover a damaged vehicle. A JTAC reported the GR-7 presence had an immediate effect on deterring enemy action.

In total, 43 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Seven Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, four Navy and RAF fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs looked for insurgents and vehicles hiding in a palm grove after an engagement with coalition forces. The pilots found suspicious individuals in the palm grove and reported their location to the JTAC aligned with the coalition ground forces. The pilots also provided reconnaissance of a medical helicopter landing zone in the same area. 

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted a counter-improvised explosive device mission along multiple routes near Taji. The pilots reported the coordinates of disturbed ground along one of the routes.

Other F-16s conducted overwatch for a coalition forces Humvee that struck an IED near Tikrit. The pilots also performed a counter-IED mission along a nearby route that would be used by an explosive ordnance disposal team responding to the damaged Humvee. The pilots reported the coordinates of a hotspot along the route.

Near Bayji, F-16s provided overwatch for coalition forces leaving an area suspected of enemy activity. The pilots also provided support for a coalition forces' raid, performed a counter-IED mission and reported a hotspot along a route used by coalition forces.

An F/A-18 provided a show of force to keep insurgents from becoming active and to encourage Iraqis to support coalition forces near Diwaniyah. A JTAC confirmed it produced successful results.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 58 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch of reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Fourteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, one Air Force fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

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 160 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 300 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,360 passengers were transported.

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

On April 11, Air Force and RAF tankers crews flew 37 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2.2 million pounds of fuel.



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