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Coalition Aircraft Fly Combat, Support Missions Jan. 4

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2006 – Coalition aircraft flew 52 close-air-support missions Jan. 4 supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities in Iraq, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward officials reported today.

Air Force F-15 Eagles struck an enemy weapons cache and F-16 Fighting Falcons struck a roadside bomb location near Salman Pak on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad with precision-guided munitions, destroying both targets.

Other F-16s provided close-air support to coalition troops near Balad, about 100 miles north of Baghdad, destroying an enemy mortar-firing site. Fighting Falcons also provided close-air support to coalition troops near Baqubah, about 100 miles east of Baghdad.

In other air action, 11 Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Also, U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

In the air war over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 18 close-air-support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The missions were in support of coalition and Afghan troops, reconstruction activities and presence route patrols. Seven Air Force ISR aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Afghanistan.

Air Force C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft provided intratheater heavy airlift support, helping sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

About 190 airlift sorties carried more than 220 tons of cargo and about 4,300 passengers, officials said. Coalition C-130 crews from Australia and Canada flew missions in support of either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

On Jan. 3, U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force tankers flew 30 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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