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Italian Helicopter Pilots win Iraqi cowardice case.

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posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:09 AM
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The ruling was a blow for the army and raised fresh doubts about the effectiveness of Italy's military hardware.

The four pilots served in Iraq last year, but after flying just one mission they refused to take to the air again, saying their helicopters did not have adequate anti-missile protection.

Army top brass said the helicopters were safe and accused the pilots of being cowards. But the tribunal said today that the men had no case to answer, indicating that their concerns were justified.

"We showed that they didn't act out of fear but out of a spirit of professionalism, having demonstrated that there were technical failings with their aircraft," said defence lawyer Franco Coppi.

Source

This ruling is very interesting. Could this lead to other members of the coalition who refused missions to take the same type of litigation? Under armoured humvee's is one case that comes to mind.


Sergeant Thomas stressed that the soldiers had not been detained or arrested.

Two investigations have been set in motion by the 13 Corps Support Group. One, in Tallil, where the unit is based, will look at the nature of the soldiers' complaints, including the state of their equipment. The second will study "whether any offence of a disciplinary nature has been committed and what other measures may be necessary", said Ser-geant Thomas.

The soldiers could be charged with wilful disobeying of orders, which could lead to dishonourable discharge, forfeit of pay and up to five years' confinement.


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edit:text

Sanc'.

[edit on 9-2-2005 by sanctum]




posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 09:25 AM
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I'm failiing to understand the connection between a door gunner who was shot with a small arm and pilots who refuse to fly because they don't have automatic chaff (or whatever it is exactly that they want, the link doesn't say).

Helicopters are always going to be a safety risk in a war zone. They are NOT flying tanks. They are designed for Evac and Insertion, maybe some stand off fire support and recon. Tactically speaking I think American, UN, and NATO forces rely far too heavily on their precious 'whoop whoop' birds. Besides, helicopter pilots know their job is a dangerous one, that's why they get paid the big bucks.


Ok, so they don't get paid the big bucks, but they still signed up to do a job and they should do it. Mind you I don't think we should be there in the first place, but if you join a military organization you sign your life away to them. You are their property for all intents and purposes. I think this particular ruling was a mistake, even though I feel strong empathy for the pilots who are in danger. Pre-emptive wars are wrong for a lot of reasons, but that unfortunately doesn't change the underlying necessity of constant military discipline during a wartime situation.

I am not in the military of my country for precisely this reason. I made the decision not to join for this most recent war, because I was not sure my principles would allow me to follow orders in every situation - and that's what soldiers have to do. I'm not a cop because I couldn't bring myself to arrest pot heads. I have no right accepting money to do a job I'm not doing.

If they changed the criminal codes in the states to adress real criminals and real crimes, I would be in law enforcement in a minute; that's what i'm trained for, born for. Similarly if our military was a purely defensive force, I would have joined on my 18th birthday and would serve my country with pride and honor.

I think the similar case in the states, regarding truck drivers, was a little different. The commander of their unit didn't think they could make it across the desert and complete their mission because of the run down vehicles they brought to Iraq. When he didn't get any response to requests for material assistance, he turned down the mission to avoid sending his men into a combat situation without the means even to bug out if that became necessary.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by sanctum
This ruling is very interesting. Could this lead to other members of the coalition who refused missions to take the same type of litigation?
Doubtful. The seperate militaries don't share jurisdiction or precedence with one another.

Under armoured humvee's is one case that comes to mind.


Seems that would fail if this was taken as precedent. They ruled that "there were technical failings with their aircraft", not that the guys didn't have enough armour.


wyrde one
Helicopters are always going to be a safety risk in a war zone

I guess the idea is that the vehicle was not up to operating specifications, so the soldiers can't be charged with 'cowardice'. But apparently they are still under review for disobeying orders.



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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Nygdan, so the higher ranks can say, "don't worry about being armored or killed"?
If you make something of it, we'll lock you up.

Or even just have the right to equipment that is up to the task. That's not too much to ask in my opinion.

Sanc'.

[edit on 9-2-2005 by sanctum]



posted on Feb, 9 2005 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by sanctum
"don't worry about being armored or killed"?
If you make something of it, we'll lock you up.

Of course. That might very well be cowardice. Soldiers can't refuse to fight merely because its dangerous. The vehicles are armoured. They want extra armour. That still will not make the vehicles safe.

Or even just have the right to equipment that is up to the task. That's not too much to ask in my opinion.

I agree 100%. I do not agree that a soldier can refuse to fight merely because its dangerous. The italian case demonstrates that they can refuse to fight and not be cowards, but also still be in the wrong and punished.



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