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Tue, May 15, 2007

B-1B Targets Insurgents, Coalition Stays Airborne

Coalition airpower supported coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan in the following operations May 13, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials. In Afghanistan, an Air Force B-1B Lancer dropped multiple guided bomb unit-31s on insurgent compounds near Kajaki Sofia. The aircrew dropped GBU-38s on other enemy targets as well. An on-scene joint terminal attack controller reported the drops were a success. The B-1 also performed a show of presence on a coalition route in the area.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornets dropped GBU-12s and fired 20mm cannon rounds at enemy vehicles and a sniper near Tarin Kowt. The hits were confirmed successful. Near Now Zad, Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets dropped GBU-12s on enemies in the area including a sniper. The JTAC confirmed the bombs hit their targets. Also in Now Zad, an F/A-18 dropped a GBU-12 on insurgents moving toward a disabled vehicle. The attack was confirmed successful by the JTAC. The pilot also searched the area for high value targets.

An Air Force MQ-1 Predator fired a Hellfire missile at enemy targets fleeing from the attack by the F/A-18 mentioned above. The attack was reported a success. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles hit an insurgent compound with a GBU-38s and cannon rounds. A JTAC reported the attacks were successful. The pilots remained in the area to search for more enemy activity. JTACs are highly trained U.S. 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.

French Mirage 2000 fighters dropped GBU-12s and multiple flares supporting coalition forces confronting enemy targets near Orgun-E. Also in Orgun-E, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs strafed enemy positions with 30mm rounds, helping coalition forces taking fire in the area.

Other A-10s provided a show of force supporting a convoy receiving mortar and small arms fire near Ali Kheyl. The show of force was reported successful and the enemy dissipated.

In total, 47 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols. Eleven Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan. Additionally, four Air Force and Royal Air Force aircraft provided tactical reconnaissance.

In Iraq, a Predator fired a Hellfire missile at insurgents placing an IED near Balad. The strike was confirmed as successful by a JTAC. Near Iskandariyah, A-10s executed a show of force, dispensing multiple flares after a JTAC came under enemy fire. The JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Navy F/A-18s provided overwatch and a show of force for a convoy receiving small-arms fire near Haqlaniyah.

Over Baghdad, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided a show of force and presence to a vehicle moving in the area deemed restricted. The show of force was reported as successful. The pilots also looked for improvised explosive devices. Near Baquba, F-16s provided armed overwatch for quick-response forces receiving enemy fire during a raid on an enemy position. The pilots also performed a show of force for coalition forces in the area. The JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Also near Baquba, F-16 aircrews, supporting the search for individuals listed as missing in action, reported possible IED emplacers to a JTAC in the area. F-16s provided armed overwatch during a raid in which detainees were captured near Salmon Park. They also provided overwatch for U.S. Army AH-64 Apaches strafing an insurgent location.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 53 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.

Fifteen Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Additionally, three Air Force and RAF 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 150 airlift sorties were flown; and more than 305 tons of cargo were delivered and approximately 3,600 passengers were transported. This included more than 25,100 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Iraq and Japan flew in support of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. On May 12, Air Force, RAF, French and Republic of Singapore tankers flew 47 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.7 million pounds of fuel to 229 receiving aircraft.

FMI: www.af.mil

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