Mon, May 30, 2005
A USAF F-16 Fighting
Falcon provided close air support to ground troops fighting to
recover two slain helicopter crewmen in the vicinity of Baquba,
Iraq, on May 26, officials said.
The ground troops had to battle terrorist insurgents while
performing search-and-recovery operations. The F-16 reportedly
suppressed enemy small-arms fire by dropping a laser-guided "guided
bomb unit-12" bomb.
An Air Force joint tactical attack controller was embedded with
the Army ground units. This enabled the ground units to communicate
with the F-16, ultimately directing the pilot to the impact point
of the bomb, officials said.
A USAF Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle also provided
full-motion video surveillance of the area and ongoing
"Supporting coalition forces on the ground is our number-one
priority," said British Royal Air Force Air Commodore Simon Bryant,
director of the Combined Air Operations Center.
"On any given day," he explained, "the coalition air component
flies more than 100 sorties. (The Component) provides any mix of
close air support, intra-theater airlift, tanker missions and
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance -- all in support of
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