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July 24 airpower summary: Predators stop insurgents

7/25/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations July 24, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer performed shows of force over Qal-E-Naw to reestablish an air presence after an engagement between coalition forces and insurgents.

Another B-1 dropped guided bomb unit-38s on an enemy mortar team in Now Zad. The on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported the weapons impacted their targets. The aircrews provided shows of presence over coalition routes also.

An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle conducted a show of force with flares in support of friendly forces taking small arms fire in Gardez. The insurgents dropped back to a cave after the show of force.

Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs provided overwatch for ground forces moving around Now Zad. The pilots also monitored a possible rocket-propelled grenade and mortar position.

Other A-10s strafed a compound and enemies hiding in a tree line in Gereshk with cannon rounds. There were no more enemy attacks reported after the A-10s fired on the tree line.

A Royal Air Force GR-7 Harrier also provided a show of force to force a withdrawal of enemy forces from an area in Bermel. The JTAC reported the show of force as successful.

In total, 41 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Eight Air Force and RAF intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, two RAF aircraft performed tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicale observed insurgents fire two mortar rounds then load the tube into the trunk of their vehicle before striking the target. The Predator then launched a Hellfire missile at the mortar team in the vehicle. The missile impacted the front of the car and it was destroyed.

Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided shows of force to disperse a crowd that had formed after the Predator destroyed the vehicle. People began to leave the area after the shows of force.

Another F-16 fired cannon rounds at insurgents gathering around Baghdad. The strike forced the insurgents to separate and move into the open where they were engaged by ground forces.

F-16s provided shows of force for a Humvee struck by an improvised explosive device and for coalition forces in Baghdad. The pilots also looked for other IED spots and snipers in the area.

Also in Baghdad, an A-10 provided a show of force with multiple flares for a bridge building process to ensure that construction was not disturbed. The show of force was reported as successful by the JTAC. Other A-10s watched over an Iraqi police station after it had taken small arms fire.

RAF GR-4 Tornados watched over a convoy that had been hit by an IED.

F-16s watched over an engagement between friendly forces and insurgents in Samarra. The attack resulted in some of the insurgents surrendering to coalition forces.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions supported coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided over watch for reconstruction activities and helped to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Eighteen Air Force, Navy, RAF and Royal Australian Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and RAF 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.

Some 143 airlift sorties were flown, 536 tons of cargo were delivered, and 3,066 passengers were transported. Airlift missions included approximately 69,600 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 July 23, Air Force, RAF and French tankers flew 51 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.8 million pounds of fuel to 244 receiving aircraft.

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