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friendly fire..

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posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:31 PM
No problem.

Off the top of my head, we've had 32 soldiers die and one diplomat (who I didn't include in the figure of 32 because he wasn't a soldier). We have had 5 friendly fire deaths in two incidents.

Not the hugest numbers, but we don't have a very big military to begin with.

Killed by enemy - 23 soldiers and one diplomat
Friendly fire deaths - 5
Traffic accidents - 4 (either traffic in Afghanistan is very bad or Canadians suck at driving)

We also have several wounded in hospital from the most recent incident, but they aren't releasing any information about their conditions at this time. The fellow that died was on our Olympic team several years ago as a sprinter.

A great resource for this is : It lists casualties, cause and links to related news stories for more background.

PS. Hi Fritzy, my furry friend! I know I have to come visit. Zaph gives me heck too.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:37 PM
Waitwaitwait! Canada has a military?! When did this happen! I really wish they'd pass those memos out before something like this happens!

Seriously though, if you want to cut down on the friendly fire, then you have to have ALL the units use something like IVIS to identify them, and you're going to have to basically integrate militaries to train together and learn to recognize equipment.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:45 PM
Silly Zaph.

In the first incident (our first casualties in action since Korea) the US pilot was specifically told by the people in his headset not to fire, they were checking something out. He was told to standby, and didn't.

Maj. Harry Schmidt of the US Air Force should make a point never to come to Canada. We don't like him very much.

The US Air Force gave him a good spanking, large fine and he is no longer allowed to pilot aircraft for them. He was found guilty of dereliction of duty, which I understand is fairly serious.

Schmidt faced two counts of dereliction of duty for not making sure he was dropping a bomb on the enemy and for disobeying air controllers' instructions to "standby" while information was verified. The formal counts allege that he "failed to comply with the applicable rules of engagement" and "willfully failed to exercise appropriate flight discipline over his aircraft."

Schmidt was originally charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and eight counts of assault. Schmidt's wingman, Maj. William Umbach was originally charged with four counts of aiding and abetting manslaughter, and eight counts of aiding and abetting assault.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:47 PM
Duzey how long has Canada been in Afghanistan for? Two friendly fire incidents over that entire time is not that much, yes it's killed people but when compared to the scale of the conflict the rate is very small. I'm sure some want all FF eliminated but as I said before that's not going to happen, so I feel for the people that were killed but again these are very small numbers historically and statistically.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:53 PM
We've been there since the beginning. I think the first that went out was a naval task force (don't even say it Zaph
) in October 2001. Then we started sending infantry over early 2002.

I still have a bit of an issue with the first incident, as they disobeyed orders and fired anyways. I think the US dealt with that fairly well, except for Schmidt is a complete ass who offended the families saying it wasn't his fault and he took no responsibility for the deaths.

The second incident, from what I know, was just a sad accident.

PS. I liked UN slogan 4 much better.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:55 PM
Gah!! A NAVY too?! What, four fishing boats and a rowboat?

Yeah, the USAF did a good job of smacking him down. He'll have a hard time getting a job flying for the airlines as well now, which means his future is ruined.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:10 PM
Schmidt is just lucky he's not sitting in a military jail serving time for the original charges laid against him by the Air Force. I believe he was originally charged with 4 counts of negligent manslaughter, 8 counts of aggravated assault, and 1 count of dereliction of duty.

He made a plea-bargain of the military type to avoid court-martial and accepted the dereliction charge. Then he turned around and sued the Air Force for making his reprimand public. The suit was filed earlier this year.

The reprimand was scathing.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:18 PM

Originally posted by Zaphod58
Gah!! A NAVY too?! What, four fishing boats and a rowboat?

Yeah, the USAF did a good job of smacking him down. He'll have a hard time getting a job flying for the airlines as well now, which means his future is ruined.
Not as ruined as the poor sods he dropped a bomb on

But several other factors in blue-on-blue that haven't been mentioned. The compariatively high percentages in recent conventional wars (not including the counter-insurgency) have been partly due to the ineficiency of the enemy at killing our troops.

It's just a guess but I bet if you counted blue-on-blue deaths as a percentage of bullets fired, the % would be far lower than in say WWII. Afterall the Germans often beat you to it when you attempted to shoot your own side in WWII.
- um, was that a tasteless joke?

But lets face it, if the Iraqis had been throwing more lead in our direction the % blue-on-blue would have probably been lower.

In general people often play down blue on blue for moral reasons. Imagine accidently shooting your own side - you're hardly going to admit it. In fact I would guess a lot of people would try to deny it even to themselves.

Talking of Blue-on-Blue cover-ups, Glenn Miller is widely thought to most likely have been hit by bombs dropped by USAF B-17s over the English channel. The investigation was a cover-up because of his obvious popularity.

Another possible cover-up is the more recent British incident in Iraq where a Marine Commando died when his boat was hit - allegedly by a British Milan ATGW from his own unit. This one's not 100% blue-on-blue but many see the board of inquiry as a white wash. .pdf+deaths+iraq+milan+boat&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:30 PM
I found a copy of Schmidt's reprimand letter:

You acted shamefully on 17 April 2002 over Tarnak Farms, Afghanistan, exhibiting arrogance and a lack of flight discipline. When your flight lead warned you to "make sure it's not friendlies" and the Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft controller directed you to "stand by" and later to "hold fire," you should have marked the location with your targeting pod. Thereafter, if you believed, as you stated, you and your leader were threatened, you should have taken a series of evasive actions and remained at a safe distance to await further instructions from AWACS. Instead, you closed on the target and blatantly disobeyed the direction to "hold fire." Your failure to follow that order is inexcusable. I do not believe you acted in defence of Maj. Umbach or yourself. Your actions indicate that you used your self-defence declaration as a pretext to strike a target, which you rashly decided was an enemy firing position, and about which you had exhausted your patience in waiting for clearance from the Combined Air Operations Center to engage. You used the inherent right of self-defence as an excuse to wage your own war.

In your personal presentation before me on 1 July 2004, I was astounded that you portrayed yourself as a victim of the disciplinary process without expressing heartfelt remorse over the deaths and injuries you caused to the members of the Canadian Forces. In fact, you were obviously angry that the United States Air Force had dared to question your actions during the 17 April 2002 tragedy. Far from providing any defence for your actions, the written materials you presented to me at the hearing only served to illustrate the degree to which you lacked flight discipline as a wingman of COFFEE Flight on 17 April 2002.

"I am concerned about more than your poor airmanship; I am also greatly concerned about your officership and judgment. Our Air Force core values stress "integrity first." Following the engagement in question, you lied about the reasons why you engaged the target after you were directed to hold fire and then you sought to blame others. You had the right to remain silent, but not the right to lie. In short, the final casualty of the engagement over Kandahar on 17 April 2002 was your integrity."

I have no sympathy for this man, but I do think the US Air Force handled this quite well.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by Duzey]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 08:56 PM
Nah, the americans are the ones famous for it though, I dont even know why but it seems the americans shoot their allies the most.

I actually think its a national identity thing. Im canadian, and i was playing paintball on canadian turf once, and we had one american join us. I was on the american's side and he shot me from ten feet away standing parallel to me and he could clearly see my armband. I was also blasting the guys on the other side of the field.

But seriously, I'm sure the taliban do it too, we just never hear about it.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 10:47 PM
MAJOR Reasons:

1). ALLIED forces, under a disjoint structural command. The left hand is quite unaware of what the right hand's upto.

2). No predefined line of engagement; i.e. behind 'this' line everyone is blue and beyond it everyone/thing is red.

If (1) & (2) are present in tandem, they're sure to cause havoc.

Another point to note:

Collateral damage-related losses may not be fratricides of the worst order. That maybe a case of the unfortunate being at the wrong place(identified target) at the wrong time, and may not have been able to evacuate in time.
However unknowingly targetting allied armor/personnel is something that is not something that can be dismissed as an occupational hazard.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 11:02 PM
This is kind of interesting, but I haven't read the book yet. I'll have to see if my local library has a copy.

In Friendly Fire: The Untold Story, author and journalist Michael Friscolanti said the air force realized soon after the air strike southwest of Kandahar that its entire command-control system could be opened to scrutiny.

In the first extensive interview with the F-16 pilot since the April 18, 2002, incident, Friscolanti says Schmidt believes a coverup was the only way the military could protect the status quo going into the Iraq war.
But, given that they were Canadians, U.S. generals had two options, Friscolanti writes: admit their command-control structure was severely flawed or find a scapegoat.

"You're going to put America's command-control structure on trial?" Schmidt said during a series of interviews. "It's not going to happen.

"My situation is not unique as far as the accident is concerned," Schmidt adds. "The circumstances are what's unique, and that's what ended up burying me. They didn't want to fix the problem. They wanted to fix the blame."

'Friendly fire' pilot tells of Pentagon coverup

Is this more of Schmidt (whose life isn't ruined because he is still a member of the Air Force, just flying a desk not a plane) trying to shift the blame or does he have a valid point?

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 11:18 PM
Friendly fire incidents aren't new but live news war coverage has only been around since about '90. We also have to remember that not only weapons delivery platform more precise, the weapons are also more deadly than they were than during previous conflicts. Many Forward Air Controllers call in strikes that are much closer than those they would have even during the first Gulf War of '91. As the target area is reduced, so is the margin of safety for friendly forces. A 500 pound bomb can expel deadly shrapnel 2000 feet. That's less than 700 meters and well within a rifleman's shooting range. The A-10's which seemed to be involved in many of these incidents are still moving at 350-400 knots IAS when attacking ground targets. That's over 200 meters per second. If a pilot or FAC makes a one second error in targeting or delivery, ground troops are now easily within a 500 lbs bomb's frag zone. As long as we have wars, we will have human errors with deadly consequences. May the Creator help us if we ever start fighting war with robots because to err is human, to really screw things up takes a computer

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 03:40 AM
In Basketball you develop peripheral vision, thats when you can see and know where everyone is and what they are up to/ Take this example and put it in the battleground, even though in modern warfare we have advanced communication systems, tracking systems and satelites to break dwon the fog of war, present day systems arent sufficient and radio operators would have headset fires if everyone is saying "i took 3 steps forward towards the building" or "My tank moved one foot forward" man its just crazy. The one option we have are our eyes but in stressful conditions, the brain does not perform that well and added the few seconds to react pulling the trigger is very hard. Nowadays tanks are low profiled and pretty much have the same figure, an M1A1/M1A2/M60A3 and other Us tanks that were sent into Iraq look almost like the T62/T54/T72 of the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard, like that incident where a hellfire was deployed from an Apache and resulted in a sever mobility kill.

Friendly fire has a long history, at the end of world war 2 approximately 23000 allied soldiers died through fracticides and during the turning point of modern conventional warfare, the veitnam war had over 8000 FF losses.

Does anyone remember Patt Tillman, He was killed by FF in afghanistan and just recently the IDF Airforce bombed a UN position killing 5.

Well i guess the only way to sto FFs is to Tarin Soldiers Like RAMBO hehe, At least he will be welcomed in Afghanistan....

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 05:57 AM
yeah i agree with what someone said in an earlyer post, its all down to training!

also i don't want to sound biased, but when have you heard of british friendly fire killing americans & other allies?

i recently worked with someone who fought in the falklands & first gulf war, he told me when he was in iraq he wrapped a union jack scarf on his head because all the british troops was more concerned about the americans coming over bombing.

ive also heard other storys by british personnel regarding americans in warfare!

i think its something the american armed forces should work on in the future because when your fighting a war you have enough to worry about by fighting the enemy, you don't want to be looking over your shoulder everytime one of your own ^ so called^ planes/people fire at you.

i dread to think how the familys feel when they are told their son or daughter have been killed by somebody's lack of care & intelligence in these situations, id be fuming.

[edit on 6-9-2006 by st3ve_o]

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:55 AM
Having read the accounts posted by Duzey, I feel nothing but anger for the US pilot's apparent refusal to accept responsibility for what he had done and his sueing of his employers also shows what a braggard and bully he is. IMO he showed utter contempt for the chain of command and his apparent orders from the AWACS but the excuse, 'I felt we were in danger' leaves a lot to be desired.

In my view, he is beyond contempt and he should consider himself extremely lucky that he is not serving life at Leavenworth.

But his actions also show a distinct lack of personal disciplin and is IMO, akin to the joke about the two vultures sitting on a branch when one says to the other,
'Patience my ass, I'm gonna kill something!'

However, it's not only US forces that cause friendly fire casualties. We Brits have had our fair share, and no doubt there will be more.

With regards to the British friendly fire incident involving the hovercraft, my friend who was commanding the other craft told me the inside story. Whilst the events revealed to the SIB are accurate i]up to a point, they do not cover the events which led to this unfortunate incident.

This was not brought out in the official inquiry, and surprisingly for the rank of the officer involved, it was not 'swept under the carpet' either.

[U2U me if you want details]

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 08:15 AM

Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by bodrul
one of the largest terms in the english dictionary the americans are most familier with

Yeah? Well at least we learn proper grammar in school, its One, English, Americans and familiar.

You're joking, right? Americans are some of the biggest idiots out there, education-wise, and our collective spelling is absolutely atrocious.... we certainly DON'T learn grammar in school. Just look at some of the American posts on ATS.

That said, I don't think it's a big deal... one usually goes after something as trivial as spelling and grammar when they have no substance to back their argument up.

The old "well, my dad can beat your dad up!" routine.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 09:46 AM
One usually goes after something as trivial as spelling (not so trivial BTW) when one has already made an unnecessary and offensive comment. Nothing like a little friendly reminder to look in the mirror once in awhile, wouldn't you say?

posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 01:36 AM
Well we made it, here is the number one slogan that the UN should adopt, it's quite appropriate actually.

Number 1: If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial America.

Bit arrogant, aren't you? Given that a trained Orange U-Tang could do better than that cretin governing your country.

Or have you forgotten Somalia to name but one.

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