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April 20 airpower: Coalition partners achieve success

4/21/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS)  -- Coalition airpower supported Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations April 20, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs released cannon rounds, dropped Guided Bomb Unit-12s, general purpose 500-pound bombs and rockets on insurgent positions near Nurestan. Every weapon was confirmed to hit it's intended target according to a Joint Terminal Attack Controller.

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle provided reconnaissance for Coalition positions and ridgelines in a valley near Sangin. The pilots also provided a show of force for Coalition forces searching a valley near Garmsir. A JTAC confirmed the show of force was successful.

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.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided a show of force over a compound near Morqor. The crews also provided reconnaissance of the compound and reported multiple individuals and a vehicle departing near the compound.

Another F/A-18 dropped a GBU-12 on insurgents near Garmsir. A JTAC confirmed that the weapon hit the desired target.

French Air Force Mirage-2000 fighters were sent in search of a group of people near a friendly position in a compound near Sangin. The Mirage crews spotted the individuals and then reported an explosion, with the presence of several people around it, near the compound.

In total, 46 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

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

In Iraq, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer provided a show of force for Coalition forces conducting patrols near Diwaniyah. The B-1B then provided a show of force for a Coalition patrol convoy that struck an improvised explosive device and was under attack in the same area. A JTAC reported the shows of force to be successful and no further attacks were reported.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force, expending multiple flares, above individuals digging near a barrier. It was judged successful by a JTAC. The pilots then provided reconnaissance for suspicious activity nearby.

Other F-16s provided reconnaissance for a Coalition patrol engaged by enemy rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire near Baghdad. The pilots reported about 25 vehicles parked near a footbridge and three people digging in an area between two fields nearby.

Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornados searched for a vehicle-borne IED along a route near Balad. Nearby, the pilots searched for insurgent mortar teams and suspicious activity in a palm grove and a residential area.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 45 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.

Seventeen U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three U.S. Air Force and 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 175 airlift sorties were flown; more than 510 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,095 passengers were transported.

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

On April 19, U.S. Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 39 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.4 million pounds of fuel.

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