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May 16 airpower summary: Fueling the mission

5/17/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 16, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs fired cannon rounds on enemy forces near Oruzgan. The pilots also provided a show of force, launching flares to break up an insurgent attack in the same area. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported the show of force and strafing were successful.

JTACs are highly trained U.S. Air Force and coalition personnel 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 B-1B Lancer dropped a guided bomb unit-38 on anti-coalition militia in Garsmir. The B-1 also conducted a show of force, launching multiple flares to frighten insurgents in a compound in Gereshk. Later, the B-1 successfully showed presence over coalition routes throughout the area.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles provided a show of force against anti-coalition personnel moving to attack ground forces in Asadabad.  A JTAC reported that insurgents fled after the show of force.

Other F-15Es showed force with flares after a JTAC came under fire in Tarin Kowt. The JTAC said the firing stopped when the Strike Eagles came on the scene. The aircrews also provided overwatch for police forces moving in the area.

In total, 54 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, four U.S. Navy aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, a B-1B provided multiple high-speed shows of force over Mosul after three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices detonated simultaneously. The JTAC reported the shows of force were effective in deterring further attacks.

Near Basrah, a Royal Air Force GR-4 Tornado provided a show of presence and searched for IED emplacers.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided overwatch for a coalition patrol that received small-arms fire in Balad. The pilots tracked several suspicious vehicles leaving the area and reported the vehicles' positions to ground forces. Later, the F-16 pilots searched for insurgent firing positions and watched over a raid by coalition ground forces.

In Baghdad, other F-16s provided armed overwatch for a quick response force conducting a search of several houses.

Other F-16s conducted counter-IED surveillance over Iskandariyah.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 43 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.

Seventeen 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 145 airlift sorties were flown, 400 tons of cargo were delivered and approximately 2,590 passengers were transported. This included more than 4,850 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On May 15, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 53 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 295 receiving aircraft.

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