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April 28 airpower: Thunderbolts support Coalition forces

4/29/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations April 28, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped Guided Bomb Unit-31s and GBU-38s on an insurgent mortar position and bunkers near Khowst. Every weapon hit the desired target according to a Joint Terminal Attack Controller.

Another B-1B provided a show of force for a Coalition convoy near Orgun-E Kalan. The B-1B continued overwatch for the convoy and no attacks were reported.

A U.S. Air Force MQ-1B Predator fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle discovered by coalition forces to be carrying an improvised explosive device near Qalat. The missile successfully hit the vehicle.

U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided reconnaissance for Coalition forces who were ambushed by insurgents firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire near Orgun-E Kalan. The convoy pushed through the ambush and no further attacks were reported after the A-10's arrival.

In total, 38 close air support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight, U.S. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted an anti-IED reconnaissance mission along multiple routes near Salman Pak. The pilots also provided a show of force nearby for a Coalition convoy that struck multiple IEDs and was being surrounded by Iraqi civilians. The show of force was a success. The crowds cleared from around the convoy and it proceeded on its way.

Other F-16s provided a show of force for Coalition forces receiving small arms fire while they were conducting a raid near Salman Pak. No further attacks were reported.

Also near Salman Pak, other F-16s provided armed overwatch for a Coalition forces convoy that struck an IED. No further attacks were reported after F-16 arrival.

Near Bayji, F-16s searched for IEDs and looked for suspicious activity along several routes. The pilots then provided overwatch of a Coalition forces raid in the area.

F-16s also searched for IEDs and mortar-related activity near Baghdad. In the same area, the pilots provided overwatch for Coalition forces receiving enemy fire and gave the location of the insurgents to Coalition ground forces who returned fire.

In total, Coalition aircraft flew 52 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.

Sixteen 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. Approximately 160 airlift sorties were flown; more than 375 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,220 passengers were transported.

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

On April 27, U.S. Air Force, French Air Force and Royal Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 41 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.2 million pounds of fuel.

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