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June 8 airpower summary: Recon aircraft support warfighters

6/9/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations June 8, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-31s on enemy bunkers near Garmsir. The pilot was given the locations by an on-scene joint terminal attack controller working with the coalition ground forces commander. The JTAC reported the strikes as direct hits and the complexes were destroyed. Prior to the bombing, the jet conducted a show of force using flares. The close-air-support was used to protect a stalled convoy.

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs released a GBU-12, fired rockets and 30 mm cannon rounds at weapons caches near Qalat. The JTAC confirmed the target was destroyed.

Another A-10 dropped a general-purpose 500 pound bomb on anti-coalition members on a ridgeline in Oruzgan. The pilot and his wingman re-attacked the area, firing 30 mm cannon rounds. Friendly forces had intercepted radio chatter indicating insurgents were setting up an ambush point. 

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier provided a show of force to support in accordance with the ground commanders intent. The close-air-support activities prevented any coalition casualties.

In Orgun, more A-10s conducted a show of force at the request of a battalion commander accompanied by a local official, while other A-10s provided a show of force near Gardez, firing flares.

In Tarin Kowt, a B-1B conducted a show of presence with flares over a forward operating base and along routes traveled by coalition convoys.

In total, 40 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Ten 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, an F-16 Fighting Falcon released GBU-12s on rockets discovered in an open field near Basrah. The JTAC confirmed the strikes were effective. The fighter also provided armed overwatch for coalition forces taking small-arms fire.

Also in Basrah, a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet performed a show of force with flares, after an IED exploded, killing insurgents attempting to plant it.

In Baquba, an A-10 destroyed an insurgent vehicle with 30 mm cannon rounds. The passengers were observed covering lines across a roadway, possibly concealing an improvised explosive devise. Weapons system video proved the vehicle exploded due to secondary devices. 

F-16s conducted shows of force dispensing flares around Taji for coalition forces taking enemy small-arms fire from a mosque. Another F-16 provided a show of force for Iraqi army forces searching for insurgents in Baghdad.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 63 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.

Twenty-one Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, six 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 147 airlift sorties were flown; more than 610 tons of cargo was delivered, and nearly 2,051 passengers were transported. This included approximately 11,622 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On June 7, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 42 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.6 million pounds of fuel to 220 receiving aircraft.

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