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Coalition Aircrews Fly Combat, Support Missions Dec. 29

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2005 – 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 46 close air support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom, supporting coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. U.S. Air Force F-16s struck an insurgent bunker near Ramadi and an enemy mortar firing location near Balad, officials said.

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

In Afghanistan, coalition aircraft flew 20 close air support missions, including A-10 and B-52 missions near Gereshk, and ISR aircraft flew operational 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. British Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role, officials said.

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 185 airlift sorties carried about 330 tons of cargo and nearly 2,700 passengers. Coalition C-130 crews from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the Republic of Korea also flew in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Dec. 28, officials added, Air Force and Royal Air Force tankers flew 28 sorties and off-loaded more than 1.9 million pounds of fuel.

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

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