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April 15 airpower summary: Maintainers keep aircraft in tip-top shape

4/16/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations April 15, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a guided bomb unit-31 and GBU-38s on an anti-coalition militia firing position near Kajaki. A joint terminal attack controller confirmed all weapons hit the desired targets.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted reconnaissance for suspicious activity near Ghazni.

French M-2000 Mirages performed shows of force over a suspected mortar position and an insurgent-occupied building near Asmar. The shows of force were reported as successful.

In total, 46 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Nine Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two U.S. Navy aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, to deter possible enemy activity near Baqubah. The pilots also performed counter-improvised explosive device reconnaissance and provided overwatch for rescue and recovery efforts after two coalition helicopters crashed near Taji.

Other F-16s performed counter-improvised explosive device reconnaissance nearby.

More F-16s conducted overwatch of a coalition convoy receiving enemy fire near Samarra.

Near Yusufiyah, F-16s provided overwatch of coalition forces near Camp Echo. The pilot then provided surveillance for insurgents and IED placers on local roads in the area.

Other F-16 crews performed counter-IED reconnaissance and reported a hotspot near Yusufiyah. The pilots also reported a suspicious checkpoint in the middle of a road nearby. Later, the pilots identified a group of three people digging in the middle of a road in front of a mosque near Bayji. The pilots gave the coordinates to a JTAC for the ground commander's action.

Near Balad, more F-16s looked for insurgents who were firing rocket propelled grenades and small arms at coalition forces.

The pilots also watched over a nearby coalition raid. During the raid, the pilots reported an individual running from the raid area and climbing rooftops of buildings. The individual took cover in a building and the pilots gave the coordinates of the building to ground forces. A JTAC reported that the raid was successful and the fleeing individual was detained.

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided reconnaissance of a suspected mortar position and followed three individuals fleeing the area and entering a building. The pilots gave the coordinates of the building to a JTAC.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados provided overwatch for a coalition patrol and search for individuals on rooftops near Baqubah.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 54 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.

Twelve Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and RAF 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. More than 130 airlift sorties were flown; about 510 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,650 passengers were transported. This included about 25,400 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in eastern Afghanistan.

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

On April 14, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 48 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.9 million pounds of fuel.

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