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U.S. Air Assets Support Strike in Afghanistan’s Bermel District

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2007 – Numerous air assets from U.S. Central Command supported NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan’s Paktika province Jan. 10, killing as many as 150 insurgents, U.S. Central Command officials said.

U. S. Central Command Air Forces supported International Security Assistance Force and Afghan National Army forces with intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, air refueling and strike aircraft. They also expended precision munitions, missile and cannon rounds on a significant number of insurgents in the Bermel district of Paktika province, officials said.

ISAF battle damage estimates indicate as many as 150 insurgents were killed.

“The use of our combined air assets with their persistence, precision and lethality is a perfect example of the flexibility and combat capability of our coalition forces. We find and track the insurgents with our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and then target them with precise effect,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. William L. “Dutch” Holland, U.S. Central Command Air Forces deputy commander.

Holland also serves as commander of U. S. Central Command’s Deputy Combined Forces Air Component.

Two large groups of insurgents had been observed infiltrating Paktika province from Pakistan. The insurgents were monitored, tracked and subsequently engaged in Afghanistan, through the coordinated use of both air and ground fire in a series of engagements along the sparsely populated border region of Bermel district, U.S. officials said.

The insurgents had been observed gathering in Pakistan and had crossed the border before launching an attack against ANA and ISAF forces in the region. According to an ISAF press release, Pakistani military liaison officers were kept fully informed throughout the operation.

“Air strikes in support of this operation were a success because of the combined efforts of our aircrews and the ISAF and ANA ground forces working in concert to shut down the insurgents’ ability to operate in the Bermel district,” Holland said.

“U.S. CENTAF and the combined air component commander forces are committed to helping the Afghan people establish a safe and secure country,” he said.

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

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