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May 1 airpower summary: Airmen support air operations

5/2/2007 - 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 May 1, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a GBU-31 bomb on insurgents in a cave near Asadabad. A joint terminal attack controller confirmed the cave was destroyed and reported secondary explosions occurred, possibly indicating a hidden weapons cache.

JTACs are highly trained Air Force and coalition members 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.

An Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II dropped a general purpose 500-pound bomb on insurgents in an open area near Nowzad. A JTAC confirmed the weapon successfully hit the target. The A-10 along with another A-10 also fired cannon rounds on several buildings, a compound and other positions being used by insurgents near the Kajaki Dam. One of the A-10s then dropped a GBU-12 on an enemy compound in the same area. All of the weapons were reported to have successfully hit the desired targets.

Other A-10s provided overwatch for a coalition convoy moving east near Qalat.

Near Gereshk, A-10s provided a show of force for a coalition convoy with a disabled vehicle. A JTAC reported it was successful and there were no attacks on the convoy. 

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided a show of force releasing multiple flares for coalition vehicles under attack near Gandomak. A JTAC described it as successful.

A French air force M2000 Mirage provided a show of force for a coalition forces position near Qalat. The pilots then provided overwatch for a nearby coalition convoy and reconnaissance for suspicious activity in the area.

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. Additionally, two Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon conducted a counter-improvised explosive device reconnaissance mission along multiple routes near Bayji and Mahmudiyah. The pilots reported the location of three suspicious people to a JTAC.

Other F-16s conducted a counter-IED reconnaissance mission along a route near Iskandariyah. The pilots reported five hotspots and passed the coordinates to a JTAC for the coalition ground commander's action.

Near Balad, more F-16s provided overwatch for a stationary convoy. No attacks were reported after the F-16s' arrival on scene. The pilots reported the coordinates of a suspected IED nearby.

Near Mosul, F-16s conducted a show of force to disperse a large group of people. A JTAC confirmed it was successful.

Other F-16s provided reconnaissance for suspicious activity and possible enemy mortar positions near Baghdad. The pilots also provided overwatch for a nearby coalition raid.

Also near Baghdad, A-10s provided armed reconnaissance for a coalition raid on a building. The A-10s then responded to coalition forces receiving heavy machine gun fire in the same area. Coalition forces stopped taking fire after the A-10s arrived on the scene.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Sixteen Air Force, Navy and Royal Australian Air Force 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 160 airlift sorties were flown; more than 515 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,670 passengers were transported. This included about 42,000 pounds of troop supplies airdropped in Afghanistan.

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

On April 30, Air Force, French air force and RAF tankers flew 43 sorties and off-loaded nearly 2.4 million pounds of fuel to 192 receiving aircraft.

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