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May 23 airpower summary: Predators leverage capabilities

5/24/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 23, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided overwatch and escort for coalition convoys moving around Sangin.  Later, a B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on an insurgent building in the area. Ground forces had taken fire from inside the building. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller who requested the attack, reported a direct hit.

Also in Sangin, an F-15E dropped a GBU-38 on an enemy compound. The enemy firing position was destroyed by the bomb.

Another F-15E dropped a GBU-12 on an insurgent compound in Tarin Kowt. The aircrew also provided a show of force for ground forces in the area.

A B-1B provided shows of force for coalition troops during a medical evacuation in Maimana. Coalition forces had stopped when they were struck by an improvised explosive device. The JTAC reported the shows of force were very successful.

F-15Es provided a show of force to keep insurgents away from coalition forces near Oruzgan. The JTAC confirmed the show of force was successful.

In total, 41 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Twelve Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.
In Iraq, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force, launching flares over Samarra. The pilots watched over ground forces struck by small-arms fire and an IED. The pilots also monitored a convoy with a disabled vehicle. 

In Baghdad, F-16 pilots provided overwatch near Camp Delta and searched for IED emplacers.

Also in Baghdad, A-10s watched over suspected insurgents and vehicles and passed along the information to a JTAC in the area.

F-16s searched for IED emplacers and suspicious activity near Balad.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 48 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, 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 170 airlift sorties were flown; more than 685 tons of cargo were delivered, and approximately 2,670 passengers were transported.

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

On May 22, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 50 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.6 million pounds of fuel to 211 receiving aircraft.

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