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'Rogue pilots' friendly fire

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posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 11:47 AM
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Alarmed at the number of friendly-fire cases being reported in Iraq, the British army has begun a scheme of new road signs to help avoid any further incidents...



[edit on 6-2-2007 by citizen smith]




posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:17 PM
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LOL, honestly though - the amount of friendly fire that america lays down is riddiculous, whereas other nations seem able to prevent most of it - other than the rare genuine accident. You'd think with all the technology they'd be able to stop it, but at the end of the day its training, and bloody common sense! Dont get me wrong most of the american guys are ace, but if there really sending in poorly trained, unseasoned, trigger happy reservists - who cant follow protocol/orders and are aparently hyped up on drugs too!?!? Well surely any idiot can see what the results gonna be, no?


[edit on 6/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:47 PM
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The amount of ignorance and disinformation in this thread is astounding, especially from our esteemed UK members. The pilots in this case followed proper protocol and procedures, it was nothing more than a tragic accident, no one sought it. There were no drugs, no lack of training, no malicious intent, no lack of procedures or "rouge" pilots. There was however a fog of war, the human element and the difficulty of live combat. Look at the cockpit recordings, see the reactions of the pilots once they realized they were friendly? There was an investigation and the pilots were rightly acquitted of any charges, like I said it was an accident.

US forces in recently conflicts generally represent the bulk of the force as such they also run the majority of operations, it is therefore not surprising that IFF accident occur. No modern war has been without friendly fire incidents due to the inherent uncertainty and difficulty of combat.

Also, how long has the war in Iraq been going on? Almost four years now I believe. How many operations, sorties and missions have been done by US forces during that time? Thousands. Yet we hear about a handful of IFF incidents that simply cannot be prevented because of the operating environment and all the factors/variables included?
The number of friendly fire incidents if we go by the overall number of sorties done is probably less then one tenth of one percent.

Something to think about next time you're ready to buy into the media hype and start point fingers.

[edit on 6-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 02:15 PM
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No, Westy, we don't.

We don't buy into newspaper reports as you put it.

It just seems to us that, once again, US aircraft are firing at British troops.

I have just heard on Channel 5 one pilot saying to the other:

'We're in jail, Dude'


Nothing wrong with that, as I believe they realised the error of their ways.

What I don't understand is the lack of a, 'Let's wait and see' mentality.

Before anybody starts yelling about 'Hey! You can't do this in a war zone!', I would like to remind everybody that Bush and Blair declared the war over a couple of hundred days ago; the 2 A10 Thunderbolt IIs were not being fired at but, more importantly, had the orange recognition panel been real rockets, there would have been ample opportunity to waste them once they had been erected.

Why, oh why did these two pilots not wait for confirmation about the FF in the area?

Surely somebody, somewhere was in contact with the Brit ground forces and this could and should have been relayed to the A10s.

There has always been a 'Shoot First and Ask Questions After' mentality associated [sometimes quite wrongly] with American forces.

Tragic though this incident is, there were faults on both sides. Somebody up the Brit chain of command, should have informed the AWACs there were Brit armour in the area and that they were displaying orange marker panels.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 02:29 PM
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Originally posted by fritz
It just seems to us that, once again, US aircraft are firing at British troops.


I think you mean to say were, because this happened in '03. It really sucks that this happened, but westpoint is correct when he stated most of the sorties were and are flown by US pilots, so the law of averages works against us. It's just plain wrong for those here to be saying US soldiers are incompetent, and it seems some are implying that the US pilots are intentionally targeting Brits, which is just ridiculous.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
The pilots in this case followed proper protocol and procedures, it was nothing more than a tragic accident, no one sought it. There were no drugs, no lack of training, no malicious intent, no lack of procedures or "rouge" pilots. There was however a fog of war, the human element and the difficulty of live combat. Look at the cockpit recordings, see the reactions of the pilots once they realized they were friendly?[edit on 6-2-2007 by WestPoint23]


So hold on, if you did watch it, the pilots clearly regognise the NATO flash pannels and then suddenly pass them off as big orange rockets!?!? - who has orange rockets in the desert? It was also claimed that the pilots had never seen combat, and that they were national guard, who apparently do NOT get trained in IFF regognition - whats up with that?!? Sending forces who cant regognise there allies while operating as part of a multinational force - thats just stupid. Also in the video the pilots ask for an artillery marker to make sure they are in the right place, implying their lost, and then they dont bother waiting for it? Moreover i dont belive they checked for the IR tags that are on all Coalition vehicles and the soldiers who were hit at the time let off distress regognition flares which were also ignored. At the very least the gun ho attitude that can be heard of "get him, get him" and laughing while burning squadies are being pulled from armour is sick and thats true whether it was british OR iraqi troops, even your enemy is human.

Now before i get flamed im not suggesting ALL american forces are incompetent - Any Force is bound to have issues with this - but it seems more that there not deploying the right people to the right/wrong places, i've met american aircrew - best bunch of guys you could hope to meet and i would never suggest they would intentionally attack Brits - cause thats just retarded.

[edit on 6/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]

[edit on 6/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 04:12 PM
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C ROBERTSON, as far as I know, UK vehicles are not fitted with IR Tags.

Why? Because the current Labour government, like the Conservative government before them, deemed this system to be far too expensive to mount in our armoured or soft skinned vehicles.

I believe the American IVIS to be the premier identification system anywhere on the market. Indeed, I will go as far as saying that if Carlsberg made such a system, it would probably be the best system in the world.

They don't and we will never have it, or anything close to it. That is why Brit units in Afghanistan and Iraq use cheap orange plastic identification panels or, as we at home know them, plastic bags.

I must admit that it is about time this government spent the money retrofitting all vehicles with IVIS or at least something similar and then perhaps, such sad events will be a thing of the past.

By the way Westy. Is that YOU in your Avtar?


[edit on 6-2-2007 by fritz]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by fritz
It just seems to us that, once again, US aircraft are firing at British troops.


This particular incident happened March 28, 2003. The reason why it's getting attention now is because the cockpit video was "released". There was a USAF investigation but no court martial because as I said before it was just an accident.


Originally posted by fritz
I have just heard on Channel 5 one pilot saying to the other: 'We're in jail, Dude'

Nothing wrong with that, as I believe they realised the error of their ways.


They say and do many things after they realize they attacked blue forces, I suggest you watch the video yourself to understand what I'm trying to say. At the point when they make this comment they are just basically thinking out loud about what they have done and about possible implications.


Originally posted by fritz
What I don't understand is the lack of a, 'Let's wait and see' mentality.

Why, oh why did these two pilots not wait for confirmation about the FF in the area?


Ok first everyone should look at the entire video here, but let me give highlight of the key vents which take place.

The video starts off with the pilots talking to a FAC saying that they have several vehicles 800 meters to the north of where artillery rounds were order by the FAC. The pilot then says that the vehicles have what look like orange panels and he proceeds to ask if there are any friendliest in the area. The other pilots asks the FAC again to confirm there are no friendliest in the area. The FAC replies that the pilot is "well clear" of friendliest and that he too sees the vehicles in question. This discussion goes on for about five minutes with the FAC telling them (pilots) their description of the vehicles matches his targets and that there are no other forces in this area. The two pilots also discuss the orange panels and whether or not they are rocket launchers. When they get closer to the target they decide that they indeed are rockets and the number two pilot goes in for the attack. After the first attack one of the pilots say that he is looking at the vehicles and they do look like the enemy trucks described by the FAC. One of the pilots again confirms that they do not look friendly so a second attack is launched. Immediately after that attack is done someone else (not the original FAC) comes online and says to the pilots be "advised" there are friendly forces in the area and describes them as "yellow, small armored tanks". It took two minutes from when the attack was initiated until this advisement comes over. Then the pilots immediately realize that they have probably attacked blue forces and react, then (almost three minutes after the attack started) they see smoke released from the ground. The new FAC comes back on and tells them to abort their mission because it might be a blue on blue, the pilots react again. The pilot asks for confirmation that those were friendly, he gets a reply of where the friendly are. The pilot then asks how the friendly forces are, he asks again and is told they are getting the information. The pilots are told a little later that initial information suggests one was killed and another wounded (at this point five minutes have elapsed from when the attack was initiated). Then a minute later someone else comes on and relays a message from what I presume are the forces which were just attacked and says to abort. Then shortly after that another source (this one British) also confirms the blue on blue and says to abort. The pilots confirm aborting and the rest of the video is just, well, unimportant as far as our discussion goes.


Originally posted by fritz
Surely somebody, somewhere was in contact with the Brit ground forces and this could and should have been relayed to the A10s.


No, as is evident late in the video it takes about seven minutes for a US and British commander to relay a message from British forces that this is indeed a blue on blue. It's not as if the A-10 pilots had an instant direct link with the British forces.


Originally posted by fritz
Tragic though this incident is, there were faults on both sides. Somebody up the Brit chain of command, should have informed the AWACs there were Brit armour in the area and that they were displaying orange marker panels.


In hindsight yes, but that's not what happen and this tragic accident was the result.

[edit on 6-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 06:18 PM
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Whilst reading this thread i have noticed quite a few posts are anti american/british. Do you really think these pilots would knowingly fire on a allied force???

What is needed is some better rules of engagement for the americans and a better identification system for the brits

I should know as most of my time in Bosnia was spent on top of our APC with a can of luminous orange paint as we were absolutely bricking it incase the americans opened fire on us whilst we were out on patrol.

What puzzled me more was that we had to paint camoflauged vehicles luminous orange. Yeah thats really camoflauged...

Yes americans are a bit gun ho however changes are needed on both sides



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
So hold on, if you did watch it, the pilots clearly regognise the NATO flash pannels and then suddenly pass them off as big orange rockets!?!?


One pilot says that they look like orange panels so he ask if there are any friendly in the area, he is told by the FAC there are none. Then another pilot comes on and says that they look like rockets on top. Through five minutes worth of discussion the FAC says that their descriptions match his targets and that no other forces are in the area. When they get closer both pilots agree that they look like orange rockets on top.


Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
It was also claimed that the pilots had never seen combat, and that they were national guard, who apparently do NOT get trained in IFF regognition - whats up with that?!?


I don't know whether or not they had seen combat, they were national guard but again I don't know how much training they get on recognizing international forces. However I will say that with the information they were given and with what they could see you can't say with absolute certainty that they should of recognized these as friendly forces right away.


Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
Also in the video the pilots ask for an artillery marker to make sure they are in the right place, implying their lost, and then they dont bother waiting for it?


It does not imply they are lost, they just want confirmation on what the FAC is seeing and more importantly, where. Also, it is not clear from the video if they attacked prior to the artillery rounds being fired.


Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
Moreover i dont belive they checked for the IR tags that are on all Coalition vehicles...


If the British vehicles had IFF transponders then the A-10 pilots would have known right away because the system automatically alerts you when you're targeting friendly forces. We see no such warnings in the video. In some cases (depending on the system) when your sensors recognize a friendly signal your FCS is automaticlly locked and you can't fire on that target.


Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
...and the soldiers who were hit at the time let off distress regognition flares which were also ignored.


The flares or smoke was not released until after the second attack was done (about a minute after). By that time the US pilots had already stopped their attack because someone had already advised them (prior to the smoke but not the second attack) that friendly might be in the area.


Originally posted by C ROBERTSON
At the very least the gun ho attitude that can be heard of "get him, get him" and laughing while burning squadies are being pulled from armour is sick and thats true whether it was british OR iraqi troops, even your enemy is human.


War is hell, and it is not uncommon to have those types of reactions in such an environemt. I'm not saying I would do it but I ceirtanly will not pass judgment, I was not there. The military is not for everyone, so if certain aspects bother you, well, that just how it is I'm afraid.

[edit on 6-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 06:52 PM
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I was under the impression that this was something that happened just recently. Well, it seems our governments will never learn that withholding evidence from the people never pays off and that by prolonging the inevitable just makes it worse especially when the source is coming from someone else other then the entity the evidence was requested from originally. It makes it seem as though there was a cover-up where none should have existed. It was a mistake and it should not just have been blamed on just the pilots alone, however maybe if the pilots themselves had come out and expressed this from the beginning and had shown some remorse people might have sympathy for them. As they expressed in the video, it was mostly self-pity and their silence didnt help matters. The government shouldn't get sympathy. The parents of the soldier killed should have been afforded this information directly from our government instead of a friggin Tabloid newspaper. This administrations deserves whatever criticism it recieves.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 11:35 PM
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I don't know but to me something like "we're in jail, dude" sounds a little offbeat for military personnel to claim especially fighter pilots..
Maybe something else would have been better:

An immediate RT to the GCI etc.. reporting friendly casualties and demanding corresponding rescue and relief measures..

Maybe a couple of passes to get a better assessment of the damage and an a continued update via RTs, all this with undercarriage sown as a show of submission and peaceful intent to the already confused troops below.

Even a gasp of horror or shock on what had just happened would be expected..

I haven't heard/seen any videos so I don't know if any of this actually happened.
If it did, good enough..

If it didn't and the general summary was just "we're in jail, dude" then that is extremely unprofessional to say the least.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 11:47 PM
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I just read your post wstpt..
It seems like an awful lot of time passed in between those FAC RTs(at least 1 minute) and so when these guys realised there was a chance of FF then why didn't they go check to scene and get a live update?



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:54 AM
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D3 I hope you saw the video which should answer some of the questions raised in your first post. Now, are you referring to the artillery rounds direct by the FAC at the pilots request? Also in the video the pilots do a pass and identify the force as hostile, they do a second pass after the first attack and again identify them as hostile. After the second attack the warning about friendly forces comes in and shortly after that the forces on the ground release the smoke indicating blue on blue.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:07 AM
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Friendly fire incident occur in every war, it's not just an American thing. You can either come up with all sort of loose theories or just accept it. It was an accident, nothing more.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 04:00 AM
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Originally posted by Mdv2
Friendly fire incident occur in every war, it's not just an American thing. You can either come up with all sort of loose theories or just accept it. It was an accident, nothing more.
It seems to be an American thing, I dont recall a single error being the other way round. Its just proves they are poorly trained or trigger happy idiots. This is clearly backed up the the US trying to keep the footage classified and as military observers pointed out, theres no reason to keep it classified other than pure embarrassment.

I also thing, for every incident that comes out, about 10 times as many are covered up.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by Flyer
It seems to be an American thing, I dont recall a single error being the other way round.


How many British planes were flown in the battlezones there? Not nearly as many as American planes, like I said it's the law of averages at work. If the Brits flew more combat missions, there would of course be more chances for them to make errors.



Its just proves they are poorly trained or trigger happy idiots.


You're saying our pilots are poorly trained? That's funny. I believe they get more flight time than anybody else. If you watched the video you'd see they did everything they could to identify the targets before attacking and it's ridiculous to say otherwise, war sucks and this one especially, but those pilots don't deserve to be called trigger happy idiots.




This is clearly backed up the the US trying to keep the footage classified and as military observers pointed out, theres no reason to keep it classified other than pure embarrassment.


Read the thread maybe, it was the Brits that were covering it up, and the US who said there was recordings.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by 27jd

Originally posted by Flyer
It seems to be an American thing, I dont recall a single error being the other way round.


How many British planes were flown in the battlezones there? Not nearly as many as American planes, like I said it's the law of averages at work. If the Brits flew more combat missions, there would of course be more chances for them to make errors.



Its just proves they are poorly trained or trigger happy idiots.


You're saying our pilots are poorly trained? That's funny. I believe they get more flight time than anybody else. If you watched the video you'd see they did everything they could to identify the targets before attacking and it's ridiculous to say otherwise, war sucks and this one especially, but those pilots don't deserve to be called trigger happy idiots.




This is clearly backed up the the US trying to keep the footage classified and as military observers pointed out, theres no reason to keep it classified other than pure embarrassment.


Read the thread maybe, it was the Brits that were covering it up, and the US who said there was recordings.


Right for the record, US pilots are not poorly trained but everyone has exceptions - they were national guard not trained in IFF.
Yes, law of averages does work against the US however i still feel the No.'s are too high!
The US did try to cover up the footage, the MoD went along with them then the yanks changed their tactics.
Yes america does have the sterotype of being trigger happy, sometimes wrongly, but its there not unfoundedly.
And i could get more flying hours at my local flying club in a cessna 152 than a US pilot gets - does it make me a better pilot, Hell No! Just because you fly so many hours doesnt make you good, the trainings still lacking somewhere...
Friendly fire happens but some of the examples are ridiculous.

[edit on 7/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]

[edit on 7/2/07 by C ROBERTSON]



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by 27jd

How many British planes were flown in the battlezones there? Not nearly as many as American planes, like I said it's the law of averages at work. If the Brits flew more combat missions, there would of course be more chances for them to make errors.


The law of averages works both ways;

The USAF flew the most, ok. How many planes were shot down by UK forces none!

...............

The UK flew alot less but still one of the RAF's tornado's get blown out of the sky, why? because it was mistakenly ID'd as an Iraqi missile


For the people on this thread who are saying they followed protocol, you are wrong, wrong, wrong! You are arguing with sentimental, blind love of your country and will not accept that the incident this thread is about was caused due to incompetance.

If you ran over a pedestrian because of dangerous driving, you are likely to do prison time! This incident is not much different.



posted on Feb, 7 2007 @ 03:25 PM
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Originally posted by Flyer
It seems to be an American thing, I dont recall a single error being the other way round.


Might want to read this...


Two members of a British tank crew were killed and two critically injured after their Challenger 2 tank was fired on by another Challenger tank in southern Iraq. A single tank round took the turret off the tank in the misdirected attack, which happened on Monday in pitch darkness.

"The soldiers were tragically killed in a 'friendly fire' incident during a period of multiple engagements from enemy forces on the outskirts of Basra," Colonel Chris Vernon, a British military spokesman, said.

Link


Now was that because those British troops were "poorly trained or trigger happy idiots."? Of course not! It's because, as the UK commander put it, ..."Regardless of the careful planning and measures taken in the type of operations in which we are engaged and in the heat of battle there is always a risk that incidents such as this might happen.".

Perhaps if you can get your head out and manage to post without hatred for the US you would see that. But then again, maybe some of us are just that ignorant.


[edit on 7-2-2007 by WestPoint23]



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