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May 29 airpower: Predators sting the enemy

5/30/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations May 29, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped general purpose 500-pound bombs on a target area in Kabul. All of the strikes were reported as successful by the on-scene joint terminal attack controller.

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.

Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles monitored suspicious activities and pilots observed a group of armed insurgents in Asadabad.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s on enemy troops hiding in a treeline near Garmsir. Ground forces had taken mortar and rocket-propelled grenade fire before the strike. The bombs impacted their targeted area. The B-1 also dropped a GBU-31 on an insurgent compound in the area. The JTAC who requested the dropped reported a direct hit. The Lancer also conducted a show of presence over a coalition route in the area.

Also in Garmsir, an F-15E provided a show of force, releasing flares to alert the enemy of air cover.

A-10 pilots searched for suspected rocket attack positions and known Taliban locations in Shkin.

In total, 45 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Ten Air Force and Royal Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two RAF fighter aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet dropped a GBU-12 on an insurgent vehicle near Habbaniyah. The JTAC confirmed the impact was effective.

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator fired Hellfire missiles at insurgents in Baghdad. The targets were eliminated.

Also in Baghdad, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted shows of force to help dissipate a crowd surrounding a detonated vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. The F-16s also monitored a suspected IED factory.

Other F-16 pilots looked for IEDs and later provided overwatch for coalition forces hit by a vehicle-borne IED in Baghdad. F-16s also watched over raids and other ground forces in the area.

An F-18 conducted a show of force over Muqdadiyah, while other F-18s monitored suspicious activity and personnel around Taji.

Near Iskandariyah, F-16s watched over a coalition raid and looked for IEDs.

In Baquba, A-10s monitored insurgents fleeing an attack by a coalition helicopter. The pilots tracked the insurgents to their location and passed the information to the ground commander.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 62 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.

Eighteen Air Force, Navy and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, seven Air Force, Navy 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 151 airlift sorties were flown; more than 710 tons of cargo was delivered, and approximately 3,000 passengers were transported. This included approximately 65,615 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On May 28, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 49 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.9 million pounds of fuel to 244 receiving aircraft.

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