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April 21 airpower: B-1B Lancer hits insurgents

4/22/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations April 21, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Another B-1B dropped GBU-31s on a building where insurgents were firing at Coalition forces near Garmsir. A JTAC observed good hits and the enemy small arms fire stopped after the air strike.

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle provided reconnaissance for Coalition forces attacked by enemy small arms fire and rockets near Sangin. The crews also searched for insurgents who were believed to be hiding along a ridgeline.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers fired rockets at insurgents in a compound near Garmsir. The weapons were reported as successful and no further insurgent movement was observed.

In total, 52 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Nine, 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, U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fired 30 mm cannon rounds on insurgent vehicles and dropped a GBU-12 on a building from which insurgents had fired small arms at a U.S. Army attack helicopter near Salman Pak. A JTAC reported the weapons successfully hit the targets.

Other A-10s fired cannon rounds at a vehicle carrying individuals involved in an earlier vehicle-borne improvised explosive device strike near Fallujah. The vehicle was destroyed, according to a JTAC.

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-12s on two buildings used by insurgents near Salman Pak. A JTAC confirmed that weapons hit the desired targets, one building was unusable and the second was destroyed.

Other F-16s provided a show of force for Coalition forces after an engagement with insurgents near Baqubah. No further attacks were reported after the show of force. The pilots also conducted counter-IED reconnaissance of nearby routes.

F-16s also searched for signs that IEDs had been placed near Salman Pak. The pilots reported five possible IEDs for future investigation.

Other F-16s provided a show of force for Iraqi police who found themselves with a large gathering of anti-Iraqi forces around them. A JTAC judged the jets' show of force was successful and no attacks on the police were reported. The pilots also reported an IED hotspot in the surrounding area and passed the coordinates to the JTAC.

Near Baghdad, other F-16s provided a show of force for Coalition forces conducting a raid. A JTAC confirmed it as successful.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets provided shows of force, releasing multiple flares to disperse a hostile crowd near Dinanyah. A JTAC confirmed it as successful. The crews also searched for a suspected insurgent mortar position.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 64 close air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported Coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided over watch of reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Fifteen U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force 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. Nearly 155 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 600 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,385 passengers were transported. This included about 7,800 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 20, U.S. Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 43 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2.6 million pounds of fuel.

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