Afghanistan: Friendly Fire Fears Grow

Afghanistan: 'Friendly Fire Fears Grow'

10:28pm UK, Friday February 27, 2009
Geoff Meade, defence correspondent
Allied troops will use separate battlefield identification technology in Afghanistan, sparking fears of friendly fire incidents, Sky News has learnt.

The most serious friendly fire incidents have involved attacks from aircraft
The 17,000-strong US surge will outnumber UK forces in the region two to one, increasing the risk of what the military calls "blue-on-blue" incidents.
After having to borrow American GPS-based tracking in Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has developed its own independent system, to be mounted in vehicles and carried by every infantry platoon.
But despite costing tens of millions of pounds, GrATS, as it is called, will not network directly with the older US technology.
More on the link
Murphy’s Law of War- Friendly fire is only friendly when it’s going in the opposite direction.


You believe all you read in the papers? Silly man


U.S.Paratrooper said:
Murphy’s Law of War- Friendly fire is only friendly when it’s going in the opposite direction.
YES, and the yanks are the worst culprits :!: ------------------ And they cant fight without their ice cream and hotdogs. :D :D
Zorro247 said:
You believe all you read in the papers? Silly man

So, do not believe what you read in the papers? Your lot seem to apply that to official reports from professionals. Like HMIC and their inspection reports eh?
The threat of friendly fire from the air is a reality of war. I'd still prefer to have that threat rather than not have air superiority.

The threat is not new, many years ago a WW1 veteran remarked that even the AFC would drop stuff on the wrong trenches.

We should be wary of leaping into the press feeding frenzy about US being particularly prone to the offence. We have had a fair few incidents without any yank help and when you consider how much more CAS the yanks provide the blue on blue figure don't seem so bad.

The question as to why we don't have an integrated IFF system which works with our principle ally 18 years after its need was identified deserves an answer.



The only reason the US have most of the air-ground 'blues-on-blue' is because they fly nearly all of tbe CAS. I have no doubt that should the Govt pull 200 Harriers out of its arrse and send them all to AFG, that those stats would change. That is not having a go at our pilots, rather a reflection that CAS is hard. Unfortunately, because humans are involved, errors WILL be made at some point, both on the ground and in the air.

Can't comment on the Yanks and their ice cream bit, but have you been to KAF or seen 'Warzone' lately? :D
I am assuming the comment about KAF and the warzone are a dig at the Timmy Hortons and Pizahut type facilities at KAF. Rediculous luxury even if you need to wear body-armour and helmets a lot of the time due to rocket attack.

A much truer reflection might be found in the FOB and PBs up country. It is not just ours that most people would consider to be absolute hell-holes but some of the US ones are pretty grim and under regular attack too. But hey - the soft yanks are only there for 18 months at a time, you'd think they could manage without an ice-cream.

Just as well the Brits get co-located with the US - it would be pretty grim with just EFI and whatever the QM can scratch together with welfare and PRI funds. Any fool can be uncomfortable - and we often are thanks!


Friendly fire is a reality that we can do without, obviously. IF the tracking device we are currently using is not compatible with other allied nations it would seem like another feck up in the procurement cycle. For the want of what is probably a few million quid (take it from the banks' contingency funds, or Sir Fred Goodwin's pension) I am sure that something could be altered to enable compatibility with Allied troops.

We can all drip about it but try explaining UK PLCs inadequacy to prevent such incidents to the guys (the ones that survived) from the HCR that were practically staring into the eyes of the A10 pilot on TELIC 1 before he strafed the column, and then came back for a 2nd go - I am sure they would have someting to say about it.

IF it is true - Unacceptable!

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