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Coalition Aircrews Fly Combat, Support Missions Dec. 30

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2005 – Coalition aircraft flew 54 close-air-support missions Dec. 30 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force F-16s provided close-air support to coalition troops in contact with anti-Iraqi forces near Balad, Iraq. The F-16s expended one precision-guided bomb with successful effects against an insurgent firing position. U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close-air support to coalition troops in contact with anti-Iraqi forces near Balad.

In addition, 12 U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq.

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 20 close-air-support 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. In addition, four U.S. Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

U.S. Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. More than 175 airlift sorties were flown, about 145 tons of cargo were delivered, and nearly 2,100 passengers were transported. This included approximately 13,500 pounds of troop re-supply air-dropped in eastern Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Canada and Japan flew in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Dec. 29, U.S. Air Force and British Royal Air Force tankers flew 30 sorties and off-loaded more than 2.3 million pounds of fuel.

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

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