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May 20 airpower summary: Maintainers keep force flying

5/21/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 20, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped guided bomb unit -38s on an insurgent staging area near Gereshk. The bombs destroyed the targeted building.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped GBU-38s on enemy targets in Sangin. The pilots also made strafing passes, firing cannon rounds on insurgents along a treeline in the area.

Also in Sangin, other F/A-18s dropped GBU-12s and GBU-38s on insurgent buildings. The joint terminal attack controller aligned with the coalition ground forces in the area reported the airstrikes successfully impacted their targets.

Another F/A-18 dropped a GBU-12 on an anti-aircraft artillery piece, after it attempted to fire upon the aircraft while near Garmsir. The munition successfully struck the target.

In Gereshk, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fired a GBU-12 on a coalition vehicle that had hit a mine and was on fire; this was to ensure the vehicle could not be used by the enemy. The JTAC reported the truck was destroyed.

In response to enemy engagement in the same area, an Air Force B-1B Lancer performed shows of presence over coalition routes. No incidents were reported while the bomber was in the area. Additionally, Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers watched for possible improvised explosive device placements.

Another A-10 performed a show of force and launched flares over Tarin Kowt at the direction of a JTAC to meet the coalition ground commander's objectives. No violence was reported in the area after the A-10s arrived on the scene.

F-15Es provided shows of force while releasing flares over Maimana. Afterward, the aircrews monitored open roads in the area.

Near Sangin, GR-7s searched for an insurgent mortar team moving in the area.

In total, 51 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 and RAF aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, at the request of the coalition ground commander, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons dropped GBU-12s on a truck equipped with anti-aircraft artillery near Iskandariyah. The truck was completely destroyed. The pilots also provided armed watch for ground forces in the area.

Near Basrah, F-16s provided shows of force with flares after coalition convoys were struck by IEDs. The JTAC in the area reported the shows of force as successful. 

RAF GR-4 Tornados provided a show of force, launching flares to support a coalition convoy rescue effort in Basrah. Later on, the pilots also performed shows of force over Salman Pak for coalition ground forces receiving small-arms fire.

F-16s provided shows of force with flares for a coalition convoy taking fire in Al Kut. The JTAC reported the shows of force broke the enemy contact.

In Baquba, A-10s monitored ground forces following up leads concerning the missing U.S. Army personnel.

A-10 aircrews also searched for IEDs near Balad.

F-16 pilots watched over coalition forces who received small-arms fire in Tall Afar.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 41 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 U.S. 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 164 airlift sorties were flown; 740 tons of cargo were delivered and approximately 2,610 passengers were transported. This included approximately 12,700 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On May 19, Air Force and RAF tankers flew 50 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 272 receiving aircraft.

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