Blue on Blue

Up to their usual standard I see.  The Canadians were in a designated live training area.  F16 jockey thinks he is under attack and requests permission to drop bombs.  He is given the go ahead to "illuminate" the target but he goes ahead and drop one or two 500lb bombs anyway.  

A couple of interesting points:

1) No one is sure at the moment how many bombs were dropped, either they are on the pylon when he came home or not.
2) Why did he think he was under attack from infantry?  Either the Canadians were spraying the sky, unlikely, or he saw distant tracer and went into gung ho mode.

I suppose he'll get a bollocking for hitting the Canadians and a medal for his bombing accuracy.

The Booties better think long and hard before they call in air "support".
Stunning isn't it?  As if the A10 hiting the Fusiliers in the Gulf wasn't enough, we've had the cowboys who flew through a ski-lift cable, some cretins in Bosnia who bombed a convoy the RAF had already identified a being refugees and now this.  Bush makes an apology and that seems to be it.  Bollocks.  One of those f*ckers needs to be hung out to dry in the hope that the rest of those brain dead, gung-ho morons get the message that shooting your own side up ain't the done thing.  Maybe if they awarded medals for flight crews coming home with all their missiles intact they might think a bit harder before letting them go.  If this means that US pilots run the risk of ending up with too many medals then perhaps the US military could stop awarding them for things like leaving a clean plate at dinner.
I'm wondering if the multitude of freindly fire and accidents wth the US military are a result of their training, as they train in much more civilianised (is that a word?) conditions (as far as I know - please correct me if I'm wrong), so when they are faced with a real combat situation they are too unfamiliar with it. The said pilot was national guard, and maybe he just wanted to blow stuff up and boast about it to his colleagues :(.


According to the Canadian and US press, ANG pilots have more, not less flying experience than Regular Pilots, I'm not sure how, but that is the claim.  
Also the ANG F-16s have more sophisticated IFF kit than USAF.
My personal view is that it is a tragic accident, in those, the US is not alone (SPTA - KRH/FOO incident).


In total hours flying Nige maybe,
but in the day to day flying in the joint service environment, I think not.
I see from the Torygraph today that the US Forces inquiry into the Patriot/Tornado fiasco has found that the Spams weren't to blame. They say the IFF wasn't working. The RAF Board of Inquiry states that the IFF must have been working or the a/c couldn't fly.

Another spam cover-up, worthy of a Channel 4 programme.
The Spams appear to have cornered the market in "Blue-on-blue" incidents, could it be that they are not taught to recognise friendly forces/armour/other equipment ? Or are they all just blind and/or stupid ?

If I may place a Crab AWACS perspective with recent first hand experience of both Afghanistan and GWII...

Frankly, even if the Tornado was not squawking, that is no excuse. At the time that the Tornado was engaged by the Patriot, we were several days into the conflict, and the Iraqi fixed wing AF had sensibly not yet made an appearance (given that we had DCA capping over their airbases!). Moreover, the Tornado had flown an undeviating path back across the FSCL, over friendly ground units, and past several friendly ac (he was particularly close to an E-2C I seem to remember). Additionally, he was trailing his lead (albeit by a few miles) who even the Spams admit was squawking correct IFF. Any Iraqi ac would have gone and hit the first ac or ground position he could have found, and then got the hell out of dodge ASAP before the DCA got to him.

Therefore, the fact that this contact had acted in such a way, without in any way manoevering into a weapons delivery profile should have told the Patriot battery he was probably friendly. If Brit AWACS had have authorised engaement of every ac who was not squawking the correct IFF (including the critical Mode 4) that we detected in TELIC, we'd have been shooting down about 4 US ac per day. The Spams even had ac in theatre who did not even have Mode 4 fitted!

ROE is there for guidance. Units must use good sense to take into account the fog of war such as IFF failure, battle damage, or the aircrew simply being unnerved by a particularly nasty mission.

Regrettably, as far as my experience of working with US air power (USAF, USN, USMC and US Army) in GWI, BH, Kosovo, Afghanistan and GWII goes, the US seem to have a cultural mindset difference to ourselves (as in the British forces). Even allowing for the statistical chances of it Blue on Blue's being carried out by the US, they are involved in more of these incidents than ourselves. :x


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