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April 18 airpower: C-130s provide heavy airlift support

4/19/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations April 18, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force near Tirgari. The mission was reported as successful.

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a Guided Bomb Unit-38 on an enemy firing position in a building near Sangin. The building was destroyed and a Joint Terminal Attack Controller confirmed a good hit.

JTACs are highly trained U.S. Air Force personnel 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.

In total, 32 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eleven U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two U.S. Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs released cannon rounds at anti-Iraqi forces digging up weapons near Baqubah. A JTAC confirmed successful effects and the weapons cache was destroyed. The pilots also provided reconnaissance along several nearby routes and reported suspicious personnel and vehicles to a JTAC for further action.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted overwatch of a coalition convoy near Baqubah. The pilots also provided reconnaissance for mortar activity, IEDs and snipers on convoy routes and other routes in the area.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided a show of force to establish air support presence and prevent additional attacks from suspected insurgent positions near Karmah. The show of force was reported as good and no further attacks were reported.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 30 close air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overmatch of reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Sixteen U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, two U.S. Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

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. More than 130 airlift sorties were flown; more than 370 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,680 passengers were transported.

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

On April 17, U.S. Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 45 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.6 million pounds of fuel.

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