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June 18 airpower summary: Strike Eagles watch over troops

6/19/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations June 18, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped guided bomb unit-38s, 39s, and GBU-12s on multiple Taliban firing positions in Sangin. The coalition ground commander ordered strikes on a bridge and several buildings through an on-scene joint terminal attack controller after intercepting communications chatter revealing their position. Weapons system video and the JTAC confirmed the munitions hit the intended targets. 

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided shows of force over the area while Royal Air Force GR-9 and GR-7 Harriers provided armed overwatch to protect friendly fighter positions during the F-15s attacked. Aircraft carrier based U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets and other F-15s conducted air reconnaissance to support the troops in contact. Air power was sustained through mid-air refueling by KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers.

Also in Sangin, a GR-7 conducted a show of force to deter potential threats against a stalled convoy.

F/A-18s, launched from an aircraft carrier, released GBU-12s and fired 20mm cannon rounds and provided a show of force with flares on insurgent positions around Tarin Kowt. Weapons system video and a JTAC confirmed the bombs hit the desired target. 

Also supporting coalition ground forces, after authorization by the ground commander, Harriers fired rockets and released a general-purpose 540 pound bomb on insurgents regrouping near a tree line. Insurgent communication chatter ceased after the attack. Weapons system video and a JTAC concluded the weapons release successful.

Also in Tarin Kowt, an aircraft carrier-based Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet fired 20 mm cannon rounds, pre-emptive flares and conducted a shows of force along a dry river bed to gain a reaction from insurgents. The actions were reported as successful.  

A Super Hornet released a GBU-38 on an insurgent position in Shkin.  A B-1B Lancer executed a show of force expending flares supporting the same coalition forces. Weapons system video and a JTAC confirmed a successful mission.

An A-10 performed shows of force with flares to deter enemy fighters from engaging a coalition convoy struck by an improvised explosive device near Asadabad. After friendly forces regrouped, the Thunderbolt II performed another show of force to deter enemy fire. Because of the fighter's presence, friendly forces were not engaged. An F-15E, in the same area, monitored the anti-coalition members but didn't fire any weapons due to possible collateral damage.

In Dowlatabad, a French Mirage 2000 and Rafale performed shows of force over coalition positions.

Super Hornets conducted shows of force near Garmsir as ordered by the ground commander through the JTAC.

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 RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, a B-1B released GBU-38s and a GBU-31V1 on a designated impact points near Basrah and Baquba. A JTAC reported the mission as successful and meeting ground commander's intent.

Also in Baquba, a Super Hornet dropped a GBU-38 on a suspected enemy hide-out. The ground commander authorized the strike. Weapons system video and a JTAC on the ground confirmed a direct hit. 

Another F/A-18 dropped a GBU-38 on a building that was considered booby trapped in Baquba. The request came from the ground commander in the area were coalition forces were conducting ground operations. Weapons system video confirmed weapon hit the building and went high order with good effects.

Also in Baquba, an F-16 provided armed overwatch for ground forces conducting a raid. No unusual activity was reported.

In Baghdad, a B-1B dropped GBU-31s on a preplanned target within a palm grove. The JTAC reported definitive impacts and declared target obliterated with an overall successful mission. F-16s performed multiple shows of force using flares to persuade enemy forces to cease small arms fire at friendly forces. The show of force was successful and enemy ceased fire.

Also in Baghdad, an A-10 provided a show of force, expending flares. Friendly forces had been taking small-arms fire and an IED detonated on a friendly convoy in the area. Insurgents were observed running across a canal bridge and dispersing in several directions. There were also reports of a fire burning on the bridge. The show of force was considered a success by the JTAC.

An F/A-18 conducted armed overwatch of an explosive ordnance disposal team conducting anti-IED operations.

In Balad, an F-16 performed a show of force using afterburners rather than flares to create anti-coalition activity. Ground forces were attempting to scare suspicious individual's occupying the building. The JTAC called the show of force successful as there was increased movement in the area.

In Muqdadiyah, an F-16 conducted a show of force over a potential crossing point for insurgents which could affect future coalition operations. The same aircraft performed a show of force over friendly forces taking small-arms fire from anti-Iraqi forces in a palm grove. The result is unknown. 

Also in Mahmudiyah an F-16 performed a show of force over a house where anti-Iraqi members were believed to have detonation wire inside. The same aircraft also showed force in Nasiriyah, expending flares in an area where a suspicious individual may have left objects on the road.

In Basrah, an F/A-18 performed a show of force, expending flares for coalition forces taking small-arms fire. The show of force was in preparation for an insertion at the palace. The mission was considered successful. 

Also in Basrah, an F-16 provided a show of force in an area where injured forces were trying to evacuate. The show was considered a success by the JTAC.

An F-16 provided a show of force, expending flares over friendly forces under small-arms fire near Samarra. The forces came under fire while investigating a vehicle base IED. The show of force was considered successful by the JTAC and the enemy ceased fire.

A Super Hornets provided armed overwatch for a coalition convoy and performed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance near a mosque near Yusufiyah.

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 148 airlift sorties were flown, more than 627 tons of cargo were delivered, and nearly 2,037 passengers were transported. This included approximately 34,554 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On June 17,  Air Force, RAF and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 56 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.2 million pounds of fuel to 308 receiving aircraft.

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