On Target



DT got a weekly Air Force update sent to us on the coalition air war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The sitrep included some pretty interesting strikes from the US arsenal including a B-1B Lancer hit a Strike Eagle gun run and some British Harrier fly-bys in Afghanistan, as well as some Falcon and Warthog CAS in Iraq.

So for some fun weekend reading, take a look...

AFGHANISTAN: A B-1B Lancer dropped guided bomb unit-38s and GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions on enemy personnel and a building near Garmsir, in support of Operation Achilles. The on-scene JTAC and ground forces observed direct hits.

F-15E Strike Eagles provided close-air support near Garmsir, firing cannon rounds on enemy forces in the open, dropping GBU-12s and GBU-38s on buildings known to contain enemy forces and on buildings where insurgents hid after initial air strikes.

A Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet dropped a GBU-12 on an enemy mortar position and another on a cave entrance where an enemy mortar spotter was located near Now Zad. A JTAC confirmed good hits on both targets.

Other Navy F/A-18s provided a show of force over a compound for coalition forces receiving mortar fire near Sangin. A JTAC reported the show of force was successful as enemy fire had ceased. The F/A-18s also provided overwatch for a coalition convoy and reconnaissance for a roadway in the same area.

Royal Air Force GR-7 Harriers provided a show of force for a coalition convoy attacked by multiple rocket propelled grenades at the gate of a forward operating base near Garmsir. The GR-7 pilots reported individuals observing the patrol from inside a compound.

Other GR-7s released enhanced Paveway II munitions, 540-pound bombs and a rocket on enemy individuals in the open and in buildings near Garmsir. The weapons directly hit the targets, according to a JTAC.

In total, 57 close-air-support missions were flown in support of Afghan and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, troops, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

IRAQ: Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons provided reconnaissance of suspicious individuals and provided a show of force over a large group of people near Balad. A JTAC reported the show of force was successful.

Other Air Force F-16s provided reconnaissance of a house in which anti-Iraqi insurgents involved in a previous engagement were hiding. The F-16 pilots watched the house until the arrival of coalition forces.

A-10 Thunderbolt IIs performed armed reconnaissance in support of counter-improvised explosive device mission near Iskandariyah.

In total, coalition aircraft flew 46 close-air-support missions for OIF.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs flew about 165 airlift sorties in-theater, delivering nearly 500 tons of cargo and transporting around 2,770 passengers.

Coalition C-130 crews from Canada, Japan and South Korea flew in support of OIF or OEF.

On March 6, U.S., RAF and French tankers flew 39 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.6 million pounds of fuel which is the equivalent of 65 full Air Force fuel trucks.

(Gouge: NC )

-- Christian

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