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Coalition Aircrews Fly Combat, Support Missions Dec. 28

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2005 – U.S. and coalition aircrews flew combat and support missions Dec. 28 in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward officials in Southwest Asia reported today.

Coalition aircraft flew 36 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. U.S. Air Force F-15s provided close air support to coalition troops near Balad, striking an enemy mortar firing location. Other F-15s provided close air support to coalition troops near Iskandariyah and Mahmudiyah.

Nine 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, and three 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, officials said.

Air Force C-130s and C-17s provided intra-theater heavy airlift support, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa. About 200 airlift sorties carried 525 tons of cargo and nearly 3,700 passengers.

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

On Dec. 27, 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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