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Two A-10s operating from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, provided close air support to a group of soldiers during a harrowing two-hour battle, saving the lives of 60 soldiers and killing multiple insurgents, according to a Bagram release. The soldiers were conducting a routine clearance patrol on July 24 when their lead vehicle turned over on an Afghan highway, forcing them to establish an overnight base, states the Aug. 6 release. The next morning, they began taking heavy fire from a nearby tree line; three soldiers suffered injuries. The A-10s, piloted by airmen deployed from Moody AFB, Ga., arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, delivering air-to-surface munitions after an initial show of force. When the enemy moved closer to the soldiers in an effort to prevent another strafing run, the ground commander cleared the pilots to engage "danger close," according to the release. Throughout the battle, the A-10s completed 15 gun passes, firing nearly all of their 2,300 rounds of 30 mm ammunition, and dropped three 500-pound bombs, states the release. "This was one of the most intense sorties our squadron has come into contact with in the last four months in theater," said the lead pilot. (Bagram report by SSgt. Stephenie Wade)