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April 22 airpower summary: C-17s provide intra-theater heavy airlift support

4/23/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations April 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on four cave entrances used by insurgents near Asadabad. A joint terminal attack controller on scene observed good hits on all of the caves entrances.

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.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped GBU-12s on a cave entrance where an insurgent sniper was firing at coalition forces near Asadabad. A JTAC confirmed a good hit on the cave entrance and no further attacks were reported.

Near Garmsir, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided reconnaissance for a coalition forces patrol route, river crossing and multiple other routes.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped GBU-38s on a cave entrance used by insurgents near Asadabad. A JTAC confirmed the weapons hit the desired target.

More U.S. Navy F/A-18s released GBU-38s on a separate cave entrance in Asadabad. A JTAC confirmed the weapon hit the desired target.

In total, 55 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, four Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, as a deterrent against anti-coalition forces near Samarra. A JTAC confirmed it as successful.

The pilots also watched over coalition ground forces recovering from an improvised explosive device attack near Baqubah. The pilots then looked for people collecting bomb-making material at a building destroyed by coalition ground forces in the same area.

Other F-16s provided counter-IED reconnaissance along multiple routes near Yusufiyah and Samarra. The pilots reported two hot spots for further investigation by ground forces. 

Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets conducted reconnaissance of suspicious activity at a canal, industrial complex and a crowd of people near Basrah. The crews also searched for a suspected insurgent mortar position and reported five people and one motorcycle at the position. The crews then provided reconnaissance for a helicopter landing zone nearby.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 62 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, watched over reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Seventeen Air Force, Navy and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, one Air Force 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 155 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 560 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,135 passengers were transported. This included about 14,627 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 20, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 43 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2.6 million pounds of fuel.

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