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June 21 airpower summary: Keeping fighters in the fight

6/22/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations June 21, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped guided bomb unit-38s and 12s on anti-coalition firing positions on a ridge line in Oruzgan. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported the weapons hit the target.

Near Gereshk, an A-10 Thunderbolt II released a GBU-12 and fired 30mm cannon rounds at an enemy compound and insurgents trying to flee the area. The JTAC confirmed all good hits.

A-10s provided shows of force, launching flares to protect friendly forces from enemy fire. Aircraft carrier-launched U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet provided armed overwatch of the area. 

At Kajaki Dam, F/A-18s made multiple strafe runs after conducting aerial reconnaissance on insurgents in the vicinity of small-arms fire and mortar points of origin. A JTAC confirmed rounds impacted the desired targets and achieved good effects. F-15Es also provided intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance of the area.

F/A-18s conducted overwatch and aerial reconnaissance of a suspicious vehicle and personnel in Kandahar.

In Jalalabd, A-10s displayed shows of force with flares in support of friendly forces. The aircraft reassured friendly forces that air power was on scene as the convoy transported a broken vehicle to a police compound. The fly over also deterred any enemy in the area from attacking the convoy. F/A-18s also showed presence in the area and provided armed overwatch.

French Mirage 2000s and Rafales provided several shows of force over friendly forces in Tarin Kowt after a pilot observed an explosion in the area. The shows of force were reported as successful.

A-10s in Ghazni provided shows of force, expending flares after a friendly forces convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device. Forces dismounted and began moving toward a compound when they began receiving small-arms fire. The JTAC reported the show of force as successful.

In Garmsir, F/A-18s provided several shows of force, disbursing flares over insurgent positions. The JTAC confirmed good effects. The aircraft continued convoy escort and aerial reconnaissance.

In total, 50 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 Royal Air Force aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, a B-1B Lancer in support of Operation Arrowhead Ripper released GBU-38s on enemy IED facilities and a roadblock near Baquba. JTAC confirmed the weapons destroyed the targets.

F-16s dropped GBU-38s on a suspected IED factory and IEDs placed in a culvert during the operation. An F-16 expended a GBU-38 and GBU-12 on a weapons cache located in a palm grove. Weapon system video and a JTAC confirmed direct hits.

Other F-16s dropped inert GBU-38s on a suspected IED emplacement near Baquba.  A JTAC confirmed the weapon hit the target. However there were no secondary explosions.

More F-16s conducted shows of force with flares over an enemy positions firing at coalition ground forces. The ground commander reported the flyover was successful.

An F-16 performed shows of force over the northern portion of Baquba to prevent insurgents from resting.

Operation Arrowhead Ripper airpower was sustained through mid-air refueling from KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers.

In Baghdad, F-16s conducted shows of force for coalition forces receiving small-arms fire from insurgents. The success of the flyover couldn't be confirmed.

An F/A-18 performed a show of force over a palm grove where coalition forces were receiving fire.  A JTAC reported the mission as successful.

More F-16s and A-10s provided armed overwatch for ground forces and provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for future operations in the area.

Aircraft carrier-based F/A-18s conducted shows of force with flares over a coalition compound in Basrah during a change of command ceremony. An F/A-18 conducted a show of force with flares near the same area for friendly forces taking small-arms fire.

An F-16 performed armed overwatch to support troops in contact with insurgents when coalition forces took small-arms fire from a vehicle in Balad.

F-16s supported coalition ground forces conducting a raid in Mahmudiyah. An A-10 provided armed overwatch for a convoy and tracked suspicious vehicles in the area.

F-16s in Bayji performed ISR around a mosque and tracked suspicious vehicles.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 67 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 480 tons of cargo were delivered and 2,440 passengers were transported. This included approximately 23,140 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

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

On June 20, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 60 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.4 million pounds of fuel to 306 receiving aircraft.

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