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May 7 airpower: Tankers key to show-of-force operations

5/9/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 7, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer provided overwatch for a coalition convoy that received enemy small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire near Kandahar. No further attacks were reported after arrival of the B-1B.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped guided bomb unit-38s on anti-coalition militia in a tree line near Garmser. The weapons were reported to hit the target. The aircrew also provided a show of force, releasing multiple flares, over a known Taliban compound. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported the engagement was successful.

In total, 50 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Ten 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, a B-1B performed a show of force, expending multiple flares, in support of coalition forces leaving an area near Al Basrah. No attacks were reported after the show of force.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons watched over coalition forces en route to detain insurgents planting improvised explosive devices near Baghdad.

Other F-16s supplied a show of force for coalition forces receiving small-arms fire while trying to recover a disabled vehicle near Al Basrah. The pilots also performed armed reconnaissance for a coalition raid and continued watching as the group returned to their recovery base.

Near Balad, F-16s provided overwatch for a coalition convoy and monitored suspected insurgent IED emplacers. Then, the F-16s watched over another convoy that took fire from insurgents in Samarra. The aircraft escorted the convoy safely to its destination.

Also in Samarra, F-16s searched for possible threats to a coalition raid and for mortar-related activities in the area. Later, the F-16s watched over coalition forces and searched for insurgents in the area.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 50 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, three, U.S. Air Force and Royal 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. Approximately 145 airlift sorties were flown; nearly 320 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,290 passengers were transported. This included about 15,530 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On May 6, Air Force, French and RAF tankers flew 46 sorties and off-loaded almost 2.6 million pounds of fuel to 220 receiving aircraft.

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