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May 17 aipower summary: Lancers provide overwatch

5/18/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 17, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an F-15E Strike Eagle dropped a guided bomb unit-38 on insurgents moving in Gardez. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the bomb hit the target. The aircrew also watched over a raid and a convoy in the area.

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 MQ-1 Predator supporting the F-15Es in Gardez, fired a hellfire missile at anti-coalition militia moving in the area. The missile hit the intended target.

Near Ghowrmach, F-15Es performed a show of force and overwatch for a convoy moving in the area.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer watched over a suspicious compound in Gereshk and a convoy that had been ambushed in Sangin.

U.S. Naby F/A-18 Hornets conducted a show of force over Gereshk. Other F/A-18s performed reconnaissance over large sections of Afghanistan including Garmsir, Kandahar and Orgun-E.

In total, 68 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 Navy and Royal Air Force aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons performed shows of force, launching flares over Baghdad. The aircraft were responding to a convoy struck by an IED and small-arms fire. The on-scene JTAC reported all of the shows of force were successful.

Other F-16s also provided shows of force over Samarra for a convoy that was attacked. The show of force was requested to stop further attacks. The JTAC called the shows of force successful. F-16s also conducted successful shows of force over Tall Afar.

Near Iskandariyah, F-16s conducted a show of force dispensing multiple flares in support of ground forces on a raid.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs watched over coalition forces searching buildings and a convoy hit by an IED in Yusufiyah.

An RAF GR-4 Tornado conducted a show of presence over Camp Bucca and watched for IED activity. The pilot also performed overwatch for a coalition convoy in the area.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 44 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 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 465 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,505 passengers were transported. This included more than 38,675 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 16, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 53 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.7 million pounds of fuel to 224 receiving aircraft.

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