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May 3 airpower summary: F-16s support ground forces

5/4/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 3, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped a guided bomb unit-31 on an anti-coalition militia in an open area near Kajaki Dam. The B-1B also dropped GBU-38s on anti-coalition militiamen in a compound. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed all of the weapons directly impacted the targets.

Also near Kajaki Dam, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fired cannon rounds at insurgents who were engaging coalition forces in a compound with mortar fire. A JTAC confirmed the strafing passes were successful in that the enemy disengaged and left the area.

Other A-10s provided a show of force for coalition helicopters entering an area near Feyzabad. No attacks were reported following the show of force. The pilots also provided reconnaissance of a suspected weapons cache and multiple coordinates in a nearby town.

Also near Feyzabad, A-10s provided shows of force, releasing multiple flares to deter individuals from gathering. The shows of force were reported as successful. The pilots then provided shows of force, again releasing multiple flares, near Qarah bagh as requested by a coalition ground commander through a JTAC. The JTAC confirmed the shows of force achieved the desired effect..

In total, 39 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twelve 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, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided reconnaissance near coalition forces and identified individuals running south along a canal near Taji.

The pilots also observed individuals entering an apartment complex and passed the coordinates to a JTAC for the coalition ground commander's action.

Other F-16s conducted counter-improvised explosive device reconnaissance for a coalition convoy near Samarra. The pilots then provided overwatch for coalition forces leaving a patrol and looked for suspicious activity in the area.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 48 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.

Fifteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, two 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; about 410 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,070 passengers were transported. This included about 38,800 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Iraq and Japan flew in support of operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

On May 2, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 39 sorties and off-loaded almost 2.2 million pounds of fuel to 187 receiving aircraft. 

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