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Coalition Aircraft Fly Support, Combat Missions Jan. 2

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2006 – U.S. and coalition aircrews flew combat and support missions Jan. 2 in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward officials in Southwest Asia reported today.

Coalition aircraft flew 58 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom, supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities, officials said.

Navy F-14s performed an air strike near Bayji, strafing the target with 100 cannon rounds and using a precision-guided munition against insurgents placing an improvised explosive device. Air Force F-15s and Navy F/A-18s also provided close-air support to coalition troops near Balad and Tikrit.

Twelve Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 17 close-air-support missions, and six U.S. Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. These missions included support to coalition and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities, and the conduct of presence route patrols.

Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. About 165 airlift sorties carried nearly 335 tons of cargo and nearly 2,500 passengers.

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

On Jan. 1, U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force tankers flew 31 sorties and off-loaded more than 2 million pounds of fuel, officials said.

(Compiled from U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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