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April 16 airpower summary: Close air support missions support operations

4/17/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations April 16, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, for a coalition convoy receiving insurgent fire near Oruzgan. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the small-arms fire stopped after the show of force.

JTACs are highly trained Airmen who advise ground commanders on appropriate air power support, relay the ground commander's intent to air power assets overhead and communicate with aircrews for precision engagement.

Another B-1B provided aerial reconnaissance for suspicious activity near Asmar. The pilot also conducted a show of presence over a nearby coalition ground operation.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets fired cannon rounds on insurgents firing at a coalition convoy from a tree line and a building near Oruzgan. A JTAC confirmed good effects and reported the convoy received no further incoming fire.

Other F/A-18s provided shows of force over coalition ground forces near Chahar Bagh. A JTAC confirmed the shows of force provided positive effects.

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier provided a show of force for coalition ground forces leaving a compound near Kajaki Dam. The pilots then provided overwatch until the coalition forces were safely at a forward operating base.

In total, 35 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAFand Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, four Navy and RAF aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance. 

In Iraq, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided reconnaissance of the site of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device explosion near Balad. The pilots reported a vehicle being loaded with unidentified objects at the site of the explosion. They followed the vehicle until it stopped and then provided the coordinates to a JTAC for further action by the coaltion ground commander. The pilots then provided overwatch for a tower under construction, and performed counter-IED reconnaissance for several nearby routes.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided overwatch for two coalition check points near Ramadi. The pilots conducted a search for insurgents who fired at coalition forces, and provided overwatch. Then the pilots searched several coordinates for mortar activity or positions.

Other F-16s conducted reconnaissance for suspicious activity near Salman Pak. The pilots also conducted overwatch of nearby coalition forces. No attacks were reported following the arrival of the F-16s on scene.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 46 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.

Eighteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, two 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. Nearly 140 airlift sorties were flown; more than 510 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,125 passengers were transported. This included about 27,000 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in eastern Afghanistan.

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

On April 15, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 46 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.8 million pounds of fuel.

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