News>Airpower strikes insurgent stronghold in Iraq
F-15E Strike Eagles, similar to this one refueling over Iraq, play a critical role daily in providing close-air support to ground forces in contact with anti-Iraqi forces as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brian Ferguson)
1/9/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNEWS) -- U.S. Central Command Air Forces air and space power supported coalition actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom with F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-15E Strike Eagle and B-1 Lancer aircraft that dropped precision munitions Jan. 8 on a known insurgent stronghold south of Balad Ruz, Iraq.
The strike targeted personnel and equipment of the insurgents and terrorists.
"The combined use of our wide range of aerial assets is a perfect example of the flexibility of our coalition forces. We're able to provide the joint force commander with the desired effects using the most appropriate airframe," said Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, U.S. CENTAF commander, who also serves as U. S. Central Command's combined forces air component commander.
Air strikes were conducted against more than 25 targets including enemy buildings, equipment, vehicles, weapons caches and personnel. The aircraft used in the operation were selected in order to deliver the required effects to the ground commander.
"Air strikes in support of this operation were a success because of the combined efforts of our aircrews, ground forces and the Iraqi Army working in concert to shut down the terrorists' ability to operate in the Diyala Province," said General North.
In addition to the F-16s, F-15Es and B-1s, coalition aircraft provided a wide array of support for the coalition ground forces, including air refueling, close-air support, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strikes against planned targets over the duration of the operation, which began Dec. 26.
"USCENTAF and the combined air component commander forces will continue to provide support to the Iraqi government in their efforts to build a new Iraq. We are committed to helping the Iraqi people establish a safe and secure country," said General North.