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June 23 airpower summary: Recon aircraft capture big picture

6/24/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations June 23, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fired 30mm cannon rounds and conducted a show of force on insurgents firing on coalition forces from a tree line near Delaram. The fighter used rockets to confirm the target location with friendly ground forces. Enemy fire ceased after the attack.

Other Thunderbolt IIs provided close-air support for ground forces who had received indirect fire and rocket propelled grenade attacks.

In the same area, F-15E Strike Eagles performed intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance

A-10s in Bari Kowt dropped guided bomb unit-12s and general-purpose 500-pound bombs on enemy positions engaging coalition forces. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller confirmed the strikes as successful.

JTACs are highly trained 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.

Strike Eagles dropped GBU-38s on insurgents in an open field near Asadabad. coalition forces intercept electronic transmission indicating insurgents were establishing a mortar firing position. A JTAC reported the strike was a direct hit and desired results were achieved.

A B-1B Lancer dropped GBU-31s on insurgents firing on friendly forces from a tree line near Garmsir. The bomber remained over head until coalition forces left the area.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers performed a show of force over a coalition convoy in a small village in Qalat. A JTAC called the over flight successful. The fighter remained in the area to provide armed overwatch.

An F-15 conducted show of force near Mowshkheyl to reassure friendly forces and deter anti-coalition activity. A JTAC reported the over flight achieved the desired results.
In Sangin, more RAF Harriers provided close air support for an inbound medical evacuation aircraft. The pilot reported no visible activity during the flight. F-15s in Sangin performed ISR for future operations.

In total, 45 close-air-support missions were flown in support of the International Security Assistance Force 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 aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, F-16 Fighting Falcons participating in Operation Arrowhead Ripper released GBU-12s on a facility suspected of containing improvised explosive devices in Baquba. After the attack the JTAC claimed the target had a big hole in the roof and a wall had collapsed.

Other F-16s performed shows of force over areas used by insurgents to conduct attacks on coalition forces in Baquba. The ground commander's intent was to prevent the enemy form resting.

Another Fighting Falcon conducted a show of force with afterburners for about half a minute in support of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. A JTAC considered the flyover successful due to no enemy contact.

A B-1B dropped GBU-38s on an IED factory in Mosul. A JTAC confirmed all bombs were a direct hit and the buildings were destroyed.

In Baghdad, aircraft carrier based Navy F/A-18 Hornets and F-16s performed shows of force and conducted counter-IED operations to protect Coalition forces.

An F-15, also in Baghdad, provided armed overwatch of routes used by friendly forces.

F-16s performed shows of force with flares over a building to prevent people from looting it near Samarra. A JTAC confirmed the flyovers successful when unknown individuals ran from the scene.

A Lancer executed a show of force with flares to stop enemy fire in Basrah. Insurgent fire ceased and a JTAC declared the fly over a success.

A-10s searched a palm grove around tank wreckage in Mahmudiyah. A pilot observed a suspicious individual in the area and passed the information to a JTAC.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 74 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 161 airlift sorties were flown; more than 508 tons of cargo was delivered, and approximately 3,250 passengers were transported. This included approximately 9,000 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 22, Air Force, RAF and Republic of Singapore air force aerial refueling crews flew 55 sorties and off-loaded approximately 3.3 million pounds of fuel to 286 receiving aircraft.

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