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May 22 airpower: Transports vital to resupply

5/23/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations May 22, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on a tree line containing a suspected high value target near Garmsir. The bomber also released a GBU-31 on a trench in the same area. The on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the bombs hit the intended target.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II joined the fight and targeted insurgents near the tree line and dropped a GBU-12. The close-air-support fighter strafed the area several times with cannon rounds to aide coalition ground forces receiving sporadic small-arms fire. The JTAC reported multiple enemy casualties. 

An F-15E Strike Eagle performed a show of force while searching for more enemy positions in the same area.

Over Oruzgan, a Royal Air Force GR-9 Harrier launched an enhanced Paveway II munition on an enemy position after a B-1B aircrew spotted anti-coalition members in a revetment on the side of a mountain. The ground forces commander considered them an imminent threat. Another Lancer released a GBU-38 to aide a JTAC in pinpointing an enemy firing position. Once the site was determined, the jet dropped another GBU-31on the location. The strikes were reported by the JTAC to be extremely successful.

Near Kajaki Sofla, a B-1B released GBU-31s on several compounds while providing close-air support for coalition ground forces. The JTAC stated all enemy fire had stopped and the mission was successful. The Lancer continued to provide overwatch for the coalition forces until exiting the area.

In total, 43 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twelve Air Force and RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two U.S. Navy and RAF aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, F-16 Fighting Falcons provided armed overwatch for a U.S. Army Stryker infantry vehicle hit by an improvised explosive device and receiving small-arms fire near Taji.

Near Baquba, F-16s provided overwatch after another Stryker was struck by an IED. Other F-16s provided overwatch for coalition forces on patrol who were receiving small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade attacks. The fighter identified a safe route for the patrol to exit the hostile area.

In Samarra, F-16s provided armed overwatch for coalition ground forces after a crowd of people were reported gathered in a street near their location.

Around Al Basrah, Fighting Falcons provided air support for a convoy. The pilots warned the convoy of a possible IED, who took action against the IED.

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.

Sixteen 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 159 airlift sorties were flown; 639 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 3,407 passengers were transported. This included approximately 28,630 pounds of troop re-supply were air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On May 21, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore Air Force tankers flew 57 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3 million pounds of fuel to 268 receiving aircraft.

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