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June 17 airpower summary: Fighting Falcon provides show of force

6/18/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations June 17, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles released general bomb unit-38s on insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades at coalition forces in Tarin Kowt. Other F-15Es dropped GBU-38s on an enemy building when radio chatter indicated anti-coalition members were regrouping.

Navy F/A-18 Hornets released GBU-12s on an enemy mortar point. On-scene joint terminal attack controllers confirmed all the strikes were direct hits. A Hornet also performed a show of force with flares over the coalition forces at the request of a JTAC working with the ground forces commander.

Other F/A-18s near the same area targeted an enemy position with GBU-12s, while A-10 Thunderbolt IIs strafed a tree line with 30 mm cannon fire and one of the aircraft dropped a general-purpose 500-pound bomb along a tree line concealing insurgents. Weapons system video and a JTAC confirmed weapons employed were successful. Another Hornet conducted surveillance over the battlefield and observed suspicious individuals and relayed the information to the JTAC.

Also in Tarin Kowt, an F-15E searched a route for suspicious activity. The fighter found nothing significant to report.

A B-1B Lancer released GBU-31s on several enemy firing positions in Orgun-E Kalan. After mid-air refueling, the bomber flew over Sangin and released GBU-38 and a GBU-31 on insurgents and their vehicles. The JTAC confirmed the strikes as good hits. 

An A-10 attempted to support the troops in contact. However, the coalition forces were advancing rapidly and the pilot couldn't account for their whereabouts. The pilot observed a mortar or rocket launch and insurgents coming out of a tree line and passed the information to the JTAC.

F/A-18s fired 20 mm cannon rounds during several strafing runs and launched pre-emptive flares and a GBU-12 on anti-coalition forces positioned in a tree line near Sangin. After mid-air refueling, a Hornet returned to conduct an additional strafing run, while another conducted aerial reconnaissance over Garmsir.

An F-15E performed a show of presence over Kajaki Dam.

In total, 59 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, a RAF GR-4 Tornado strafed a house in Salmon Pak with 27mm cannon rounds. Coalition forces and Iraqi army troops were receiving fire from a small house and highlighted there position using smoke. The aircraft also provided over watch while building was being secured.

F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force over Bayji in response insurgent fire. The show of force was deemed unsuccessful because then enemy continue to fire. The same F-16 performed another show of force in Baghdad that was declared a success when insurgents stopped firing.

Also in Bayji, a B-1B performed a show of force over a convoy that was attacked by insurgents. The show of force was successful with many thanks from the JTAC.

In Baghdad, an F-16 conducted a show of force, expending flares over a forward operating base that had received numerous indirect fire attacks throughout the day. Other F-16 provided shows of force for tanks receiving small-arms fire.

F-16s conducted shows of force to support ground forces receiving enemy fire during a raid in Samarra. After the show of force, the enemy retreated to a house near a mosque.

Other F-16s conducted overwatch for a weapons support team receiving small-arms fire. The pilot observed an artillery piece in the back of a truck, then observed ground forces and helicopters destroy the truck. An F/A-18 conducted an immediate show of force to support coalition forces suppressed by enemy fire. The JTAC reported the mission successful when enemy fire stopped.

F-16s showed force over a house after reports of suspicious individuals appeared to be observing friendly forces in Baquba. The show of force was successful and individuals dispersed after the pass. Also, a Tornado conducted a show of force near the same area.

An F/A-18 conducted shows of force, expending flares over an area between two coalition bases where insurgents were active during the day in Muqdadiyah.

In Yusufiyah, F-16s conducted armed overwatch for a disabled convoy until a quick reaction force could be dispatched to search for insurgents.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 66 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, five Air Force and Navy 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 595 tons of cargo were delivered, and nearly 2,919 passengers were transported. This included approximately 10,200 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On June 16, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 57 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 292 receiving aircraft.

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