ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 stationed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) continued to provide support to coalition troops on the ground in Iraq Oct. 19.
F-14 Tomcats from Fighter Squadron (VF) 31 conducted precision strikes on a known Improvised Explosive Device (IED) production facility northeast of Baghdad. The fighter jets joined a handful of other Roosevelt-based aircraft this week that have conducted strikes in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while protecting coalition ground troops.
IEDs have been one of the biggest threats to coalition ground forces since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The airstrikes underscore the success that Roosevelt-based aircraft have had working with coalition troops on the ground in the last several weeks.
"We are happy with what we have been able to bring to the fight since our arrival in the theater a few weeks ago," said Rear Adm. James A. Winnefeld, commander, Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. "Whether we are hitting targets of opportunity called in from our troops on the ground, or conducting pre-planned strikes on known terrorist sites, we will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect our ground forces. At the same time, we will continue to do our part to help set the conditions for security and stability so the Iraqi people have the opportunity to determine their own future."
Other CVW-8 aircraft continue to fly missions such as convoy escorting, patrolling oil pipelines and protecting new construction.
Since their arrival in the Persian Gulf, Roosevelt-based aircraft have provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Al Hillah, Al Mansuriyah, Baquba, Basrah, Kirkuk, Madain, Mosul and Tall Afar.
The Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group is currently operating in the Persian Gulf in support of maritime security operations and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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