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April 30 airpower summary: C-130s sustain war effort

5/1/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, in Afghanistan in the following operations April 30, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at five insurgents observed to be carrying weapons during a raid near Gereshk. The missile successfully hit the targets, according to a joint attack terminal controller.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a GBU-31 and GBU-38 bombs on an enemy firing position near Shindand. The weapons hit the desired target, according to a JTAC. The B-1B also performed a show of force, releasing multiple flares over a compound. The show of force was successful and personnel were observed running from the compound.

Another B-1B received coordinates from a JTAC for an enemy firing position near Shindand. The B-1B dropped a GBU-38 on insurgents in the area. The weapon impacted the target, according to reports. The pilot also performed a show of force, releasing multiple flares over an enemy position. After the show of force, the enemy took cover and was temporarily suppressed.

Also near Shindand, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a GBU-38 on four insurgents with weapons. The ISAF ground commander then requested through the JTAC that the aircrew strafe a compound used as an enemy firing position. The F-15E fired cannon rounds and dropped GBU-38s to successfully achieve the desired effects.

The F-15s then provided a show of force for an ISAF convoy receiving small arms fire from both sides of a valley near Shindand. No additional shots were fired after the F-15s' show of force.

Near Gardez, other F-15s provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares to deter enemy activity from ISAF forces clearing a village that was assessed to be a launching point for mortars and rocket propelled grenade fire. 

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs conducted close-air support for ISAF forces as requested through a JTAC aligned with the ground commander. The A-10s made nine strafe passes, firing 30mm cannon rounds each pass on insurgents entrenched near Tarin Kowt. All cannon rounds were confirmed as good hits. The A-10s then dropped two MK82 500-pound bombs, both of which were successful.

Other A-10s provided a show of force in Tarin Kowt where seven ISAF vehicles were taking mortar fire. A JTAC confirmed all mortar fire ceased once the A-10s arrived on scene.

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier provided a show of force, firing rockets in support of ISAF forces receiving small arms fire near Tarin Kowt. The rockets were observed as direct hits.

Near Gereshk, a JTAC requested an airstrike for ISAF forces under enemy mortar, rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. A RAF GR-7 fired rockets and dropped an Enhanced Paveway II munition and a 540-pound, air-burst bomb. A JTAC confirmed that enemy fire ceased and that the ISAF forces were able to continue with their task.

French air force M2000 Mirages dropped GBU-12s on mortar positions near Gereshk. A JTAC confirmed the weapons successfully hit the targets.

In total, 44 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the 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.

In Iraq, A-10s provided shows of force over a hot spot where coalition forces reported receiving small arms fire near Fallujah. Under the direction of a JTAC, the A-10s fired 30mm cannon rounds that were called good hits. The A-10s were then assigned to strafe the area to deter further hostile activity until the coalition forces could leave. The crews conducted three strafing passes before dropping a GBU-12, and then continued providing armed reconnaissance until the coalition forces left the area.

In Basra, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons were assigned to engage an anti-Iraqi force firing team preparing for an attack in the open. One of the F-16s dropped a GBU-12 on insurgent vehicles at the request of a JTAC. Immediately after impact a crowd began forming. The Iraqi police on the scene confirmed the strike was successful with no civilian injuries. The F-16s also conducted a show of force over a group of people digging on the shoulder of a road and then continued counter-IED surveillance.

Other F-16s provided counter-IED reconnaissance along main routes, looking for and reporting possible IED emplacements at hotspots near Mahmudiyah. The pilots then conducted overwatch of coalition forces and searched for a possible triggerman in the area.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 46 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 Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and RAF 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. Approximately 150 airlift sorties were flown; more than 630 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,140 passengers were transported. This included about 18,000 pounds of troop supplies airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 29, Air Force, French air force and RAF tankers flew 40 sorties and off-loaded almost 2.2 million pounds of fuel. 

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