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Coalition Aircraft Fly 67 Combat, Support Missions Jan. 5

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2006 – U.S. and coalition aircrews flew combat and support missions yesterday in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward officials in Southwest Asia reported today.

Coalition aircraft flew 44 close-air-support missions Operation Iraqi Freedom, supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

Air Force F-16s and Navy F/A-18s provided close-air support to coalition troops near Balad and Baqubah. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft also flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In the skies over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 23 close-air-support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, supporting coalition and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities, and presence route patrols.

Air Force A-10s and a B-52 provided close-air support to coalition forces near Deh Rawood. Seven Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intratheater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. About 175 airlift sorties carried more than 230 tons of cargo and nearly 3,700 passengers, officials said.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the Republic of Korea flew in support of operations in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

On Jan. 4, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force tankers flew 32 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.2 million pounds of fuel.

(From a U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news release.)

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