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U.S. F-16s provide watch in Iraq

February 26, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - In Iraq, U.S. Air Force F-16s were assigned to observe two mosques and a roadway for anti-Iraqi activity near Ar Ramadi.

Two F-16s from the 510th EFS taxi toward the runway for a mission from Balad AFB. The 510th FS is deployed from Aviano AFB on February 13th, 2007. [USAF photo by SSgt. Michael R. Holzworth]

The F-16 pilots spotted a vehicle with two individuals inside that stopped on the shoulder of the roadway. When the vehicle departed, the earth on the shoulder of the road looked disturbed. This information was reported to the JTAC for further investigation.

Other USAF F-16s were assigned to provide over watch while a coalition humvee hit by an improvised explosive device was cleared off the road near Baghdad. One of the F-16 pilots reported five individuals walking south of the area.

The same F-16 pilots also provided over-watch during the search of a suspected insurgent house near Baghdad. The pilots observed the area, then provided over-watch of the previously attacked vehicle while being towed.

F-16s provided over-watch for a convoy that was hit by an IED and had received small arms fire near Baghdad. The pilots observed the area for anti-Iraqi forces.

At the request of a ground commander, other F-16s provided over-watch for a medical evacuation following a small arms and rocket propelled grenade attack near Baghdad. The pilots observed a suspected apartment complex where insurgents fled following the attack. The pilots observed suspicious individuals running in and out of the complex and reported all observations to the JTAC for the ground commander's assessment and action.

Air Force F-16s searched for enemy activity near Baghdad. The pilots noted approximately ten individuals on roof tops and passed their location to a JTAC. Coalition ground forces engaged this location with a Hellfire missile and the pilots observed several individuals running to a nearby compound. All information was passed to the JTAC for the ground commander's situational awareness before the aircraft left the area.