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US friendly fire kills British soldiers in Afghanistan

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posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by shots
Again I ask how can you know for certain you were not there neither was I? For all anyone knows the call may have been made by any number of individuals or perhaps even relayed via a UAV observer.

Also allow me to point out if British forces did call for the CAS perhaps and I am not saying for certain but it is very possible the individual who called for the CAS may have transposed the coordinate numbers. That has happened more then once, so again I say lets wait until we get all the details rather then jump to conclusions.


*SNIP
Very very rarely do British forces use GPS to designate targets!!! They use lasers because they are faster and are nearly immune to user error!!! The only 2 ways this has gone wrong is a weapon malfunction or pilot error.

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[edit on 24/8/2007 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:56 AM
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An investigation is being carried out.


And once again it will be a whitewash, just exactly the sme as all these other so called investgations carried out. Will the US Defense Department be helpfull this time. I very much doubt it.




The incident where the UK Coroner called for criminal charges had cockpit video showing the cowboy attitude of the pilots involved, to the point of criminal negligence. They didn't follow orders, didn't identify the target and when they realised their mistake, showed no remorse and only concern for their own well being.


And the US refused to hand them over remember, so much for the UK And the US being allies. The US DOD, were angry that this was released to the coroner in the first place. I feel sorry for the families of these guys, once again this brings into the question does britain need to distance itself from the US.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:57 AM
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While it would be wonderful if the friendly fire incidents were resposible for 0% of the casualties 1.3 % is pretty amazing and would be quite difficult to improve upon. I think the fact that the percentage is 1.3% rather proves that the US isnt intentionally bombing the hell out of allied forces without regard for them. Of course there should be a full investigation and the DOD should cooperate with the MOD. That investigation is gonna take a bit more than 48 hours however.

freeborn I realise the quotes were not of you I was just using them as examples.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by stumason
That was a stupid Blue on Blue incident... Honestly... How can a fighter/bomber be mistaken for a Scud... Seriously...


It may seem stupid but you do not know the full details of it. It was not an issue of human error, the CPU of the Patriot battery was not properly functioning and it was left on automatic mode. It's not that simple but you get the idea...

As for this thread, no US bashing? I'm sorry, I must have been reading three pages worth of commentary from another thread given that is the impression that I got. Let's wait for the details and investigation to begin before jumping to unnecessary conclusions. It also seems that people have an unrealistic view of warfare, and how difficult it is to integrate multi national forces on such a dynamic battlefield. Furthermore, in context 99% of US ground support sorties (which total in the thousands) end in success and countless lives have been saved, yet you rarely hear about them. FF is something that will never go away, this is war after all, and not all FF incidents are criminal in nature, sometime they are simply accidental. In any case one previous poster was right, the US conducts the overwhelming bulk of A2G ops in Afghanistan. Most NATO countries there have not given such material support and don't even allow their soldiers to shoot at anything, great way of reducing FF yet a totally pointless measure.

Furthermore most of us have been brought up in the 21st century Hollywood version of war and the military, where everything is so advanced and nothing goes wrong. Realistically speaking this is not the case, and histrionically the number of FF incidents is astonishingly low. Given all the challenges I'm surprised it's not higher actually.

Anyway, relax and let thing unfold...

[edit on 24-8-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by SKUNK2
Shots your a troll!!! Every post you have contributed to this thread proves you are ignorant and in denial.


HUH? Since when is asking people to cool their jets and wait for more information being a troll???


As for your comments on GPS and laser you are assuming like others because you were not there so how can you possibley know what methods they used for certain?

[edit on 8/24/2007 by shots]



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by stumason
That was a stupid Blue on Blue incident... Honestly... How can a fighter/bomber be mistaken for a Scud... Seriously...


It may seem stupid but you do not know the full details of it. It was not an issue of human error, the CPU of the Patriot battery was not properly functioning and it was left on automatic mode. It's not that simple but you get the idea...


I do know as much as the next person as I've read the reports.


Besides that, I come from a very military family, one member of which is a high ranking RAF officer. I know it was a technical fault, but it never happens to anyone but us Brits.... Go figure...



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by shots
As for your comments on GPS and laser you are assuming like others because you were not there so how can you possibley know what methods they used for certain?

[edit on 8/24/2007 by shots]


I get the impression he is a either serving or ex Army. I may be wrong. Paddyinf would be best qualified to answer the question on how British operate CAS. He has actually been to Afghanistan.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


That may well be true. My sole point is none of us where there and it is far to soon to jump to conclusions. Equipment could have failed, the bomb could have failed, human error may have gave wrong coordinates, the list goes on and on.

hence the reason I keep saying lets sit back cool our jets and get all the details.

[edit on 8/24/2007 by shots]



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 12:40 PM
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I was just watching the BBC news... they've said that the main reason this incident happened was because of the close-quarter combat with the enemy that the British soldiers were in when they called in the air-strike.

A lot of the fighting in Afghanistan between ground troops is close-quarter (only around 100 or maybe 200 meters apart), so even a slight mistake by the fighter jets can cause injury to the wrong side.



On a statistical side note, the reporter also said that since 1990, 12 British soldiers have been killed by US friendly-fire in Iraq.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 01:14 PM
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i have to say that the air support out there has saved many of our troops lives over the years just a damm shame this goes down from time to time!

There will be another whitewash and the pilots promoted while devasted british families and friends cry an ocean of pain




[edit on 24-8-2007 by noangels2006]



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by infinite
You have to remember,
It's easy to mistake us for a member for the Taleban. The Union Jack can be quite confusing.


It can be from 10,000 feet in the air.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 04:15 PM
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well, I'm chasing a few things up.

I've heard the incident is related to the maps issued and the pilot either missed read/had the wrong map.

I'm not confirming it yet, it's something I've heard from a friend who's son knew one of the injured in this incident.



posted on Aug, 24 2007 @ 05:43 PM
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If the Brits called for air strikes danger close to save thier butts from being over run then its more than likely the bombs fault for not being perfect. Not to blame anyone but Eagle pilots are some of the best in the world and they dont often screw up.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by shots
reply to post by infinite
 


I realize that was the case for that incident and the Tillman family doctors are claiming a cover up for their sons death no big deal here. It is to be expected of families and other nations to lay the blame on the others because they want the families to receive more money.

[edit on 8/24/2007 by shots]


Yet again you wade in with your ill thought out comments and your "expertise" on seemingly every subject known to man.

The simple fact is, the US military treats all of these incidents as excusable accidents. Obviously the aircrew did not fire on friendly forces intentionally but does that excuse them from answering for their error?

I would love to write a 300 word essay here Shots but it doesn't take 300 words to state a simple fact, you're an ass.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 12:20 AM
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One thing I think we all must keep in mind is that friendly fire happens constantly. I'm British so I'm a little biased about these incidents but for my fellow Brits, please remember that these incidents are NOT intentional. Yes, they are unfortunate and YES, the US could take a better attitude towards these incidents but it is no excuse for us to start America bashing. The US is the greatest ally we will ever have and we are theirs. Ignore petty people who wish to turn this into a UK v US fight on these forums and realise that we are ALL fighting for the same thing.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 04:28 AM
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They MoD is soon to name the victims of this accident, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the British army has said that an investigation into the deaths has already begun:

www.guardian.co.uk

The apparent "friendly fire" incident took place as the troops patrolled an area north-west of Kajaki, Helmand Province, on Thursday evening.

After coming under attack the unit, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, had called in close air support from two US F15s.


www.guardian.co.uk

The commander of the Helmand task force, Brigadier John Lorimer, said the deaths were a "terrible tragedy".

"It is all the more devastating for everyone because we have been working with the US Air Force a great many times during the time that we have been out here," he told the BBC. "The bombs dropped by American aircraft have saved the lives of hundreds of British troops."

Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Mayo, spokesman for British troops in Helmand Province, said an investigation into the deaths had been launched.

This is believed to be the second friendly fire incident involving British troops in Afghanistan.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 05:34 AM
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CAS is used quite frequently in Afghanistan, 90% of which is supplied by the USAF. There are various methods used to bring in the bombs depending on the situation.

In general GPS is not used by the majority of infantry sections. If there is a well kitted out Forward Air Controller (FAC), they will use Lazer Target designator (LTD). There are often pre-designated targets that are set prior to a mission start. Often however in a fast moving battle, support is called in the old fashioned way - using map and compass.

Until more information becomes available it is impossible to atribute blame. The wrong grid may have been given. The pilots may have mistaken the GR of the firing point given in the fire mission for that of the enemy. There may have been a b@lls up in the use of the LTD. The bomb may simply have missed. There are so many variables that it is mad to try to blame someone at this stage.

From what I understand of the battle, the multiple was on a routine standing patrol around the Camp Bastion area when they came under effective enemy fire from a pre-set ambush, initiated from two seperate positions. Under heavy fire from two seperate positions, the patrol attempted to remove one of the positions using CAS provided by US forces. For reasons unknown, the bomb designated for the Taliban position hit the British patrol, killing three and seriously injuring another two. These are all the facts available at this time. Anything more than this at this time is pure speculation.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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I think you're seeing from some of the British contributors a general frustration at the length of time it takes for these friendly fire inquiries to report & the perceived lack of cooperation from the US military with British civilian authorities such as the Coroner service which is legally obliged to investigate the deaths of Britons abroad.

And I can understand, to some extent, the unwillingness of the US military to fully cooperate - they argue that confidential mission sensitive information would be released into the public arena & that there might be legal implications for their aircrew were they to testify before the Coroner.
But it's due process in the UK. And the two governments really need to work out a mechanism by which US military evidence can be both presented and made acceptable to the Coroner whilst recognising too the needs of the military.

Because the families need to know why their guys were killed. Not for any financial gain. But for the settlement of their grief.

Some argue that the official inquiry is deliberately dragged out until it disappears off the media's news horizon. There may be some truth in that too. You only have to see the responses here to understand that friendly fire incidents can on occasion become highly emotive and continued reporting does little to foster good relations between the military on the ground or between the general public of both nations.

I would hope that American aircrew are as careful when they discharge their weaponry near British/Allied soldiers as they are with their own guys. And vice versa, of course. British Harriers are being used in that theatre every day in support of American forces.

I've seen some of the cowboy jibes against US aircrew from British contributors. It's easy to say I guess. But I can't imagine quite how bad those aircrew are feeling this morning, whether or not they were responsible for this accident. Same goes for the air controllers and the Brits on the ground who called in the air support. They're the ones we should be thinking about. And of course the guys who were killed, injured & their families.

It's easy to speculate. And to use national stereotyping to define the arguments and actions of others. It never helps establish truth or reveal any special insight. It demeans this forum and the whole purpose for it.



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:06 AM
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Another blunder by the American military, its a disgrace. Did you know more British soldiers were killed by the US Military than the Iraqi army in the first Iraq
war? unbelievable



posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
does britain need to distance itself from the US.


Of course we do.
Prime Minister Brown is on the right path so far by slowly moving away, but we should stand with our European partners in the EU.

I've said it many times, NATO should be disbanded and replaced with a European Union defence pact.

[edit on 25-8-2007 by infinite]



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