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missing blue on blue A-10 transcript published in UK

#1
THIS is the full transcript of the cockpit video from call sign POPOV36 during the disastrous friendly fire attack on the Household Cavalry patrol.

Lasting just over 15 minutes, it begins just before the A-10 Thunderbolt pilot spots the four British vehicles.

The local time is 4.36pm, or 1.36pm Greenwich Mean Time which is what the military use.

The killer pilot’s wingman, hunting targets with him in a second A-10, had the call sign POPOV35.

The other main call signs on the radio net are MANILA HOTEL, MANILA34, and LIGHTNING34 — three US Marine Corps Forward Air Controllers on the ground attached to British units.

Later on, other call signs come on the net to relay emergency ceasefire messages.

They are SKY CHIEF, an American AWAC jet controlling the overall air battle and COSTA58, a British pilot nearby.

The time code in hours, minutes and seconds is from the digital clock on the pilot’s display.

Transcript starts:

1336.30 MANILA HOTEL:

POPOV from MANILA HOTEL. Can you confirm you engaged that tube and those vehicles?

1336.36 POPOV35:

Affirm Sir. Looks like I’ve got multiple vehicles in reverts at about 800 metres to the north of your arty rounds. Can you switch fire, and shift fire, and get some arty rounds on those?

1336.47 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger, I understand that those are the impacts you observed earlier on my timing?

1336.51 POPOV35:

Affirmative.

1336.52 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger, standby. Let me make sure they’re not on another mission.

1336.57 POPOV36:

Hey, I got a four ship. Looks like we got orange panels on them though. Do we have any friendlies up in this area?

1337.03 MANILA HOTEL:

I understand that was north 800 metres.

1337.12 MANILA HOTEL:

POPOV, understand that was north 800 metres?

1337.16 POPOV35:

Confirm, north 800 metres. Confirm there are no friendlies this far north on the ground.

1337.21 MANILA HOTEL:

That is an affirm. You are well clear of friendlies.

1337.25 POPOV35:

Copy. I see multiple riveted vehicles. Some look like flatbed trucks and others are green vehicles. Can’t quite make out the type. Look like may be ZIL157s (Russian made trucks used by Iraqi army).

1337.36 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger. That matches our Intel up there. And understand you also have the other fixed wing up this push? For terminal control, if you can.

1337.44 POPOV35:

I’d love to. I didn’t talk to him yet.

1337.46 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger, I believe CASPER is up this push too. Two Super Tomcats.

1337.54 POPOV35:

Hey dude.

1337.56 POPOV36:

I got a four ship of vehicles that are evenly spaced along a road going north.

1338.04 POPOV36:

Look down at your right, 2 o’clock, at 10 o’clock low, there is a, left 10 o’clock low, look down there north along that canal, right there. Coming up just south of the village.

1338.21 POPOV35:

Evenly spaced? Where we strafed?

1338.23 POPOV36:

No. No. Further east, further west, right now. And there’s four or five of them right now heading up there.

1338.29 POPOV35:

No, I don’t have you visual.

1338.30 POPOV36:

I’m back at your 6 – no factor.

1338.31 POPOV35:

OK, now where’s this canal?

1338.35 POPOV35:

Don’t hit those F18s that are out there.

1338.38 POPOV36:

OK. Right underneath you. Right now, there’s a canal that runs north/south. There’s a small village, and there are vehicles that are spaced evenly there.

1338.49 POPOV36:

They look like they have orange panels on though.

1338.51 POPOV35:

He told me, he told me there’s nobody north of here.

1338.52 POPOV36:

I know. There, right on the river.

1338.53 POPOV35:

I see vehicles though, might be our original dudes.

1339.09 POPOV36:

They’ve got something orange on top of them.

1339.10 POPOV35:

POPOV for MANILA 3, is MANILA 34 in this area?

1339.14 MANILA HOTEL:

Say again?

1339.15 POPOV35:

MANILA HOTEL, is MANILA 34 in this area?

1339.19 MANILA HOTEL:

Negative. Understand they are well clear of that now.

1339.23 POPOV35:

OK, copy. Like I said, multiple riveted vehicles. They look like flatbed trucks. Are those your targets?

1339.30 MANILA HOTEL:

That’s affirm.

1339.31 POPOV35:

OK.

1339.34 POPOV36:

Let me ask you one question.

1339.35 POPOV35:

What’s that?

1339.45 POPO36:

(to MANILA HOTEL) Hey, tell me what type of rocket launchers you got up here?

1339.50 POPOV36:

I think they’re rocket launchers.

1339.52 MANILA HOTEL:

. . . (garbled) You were stepped on, say again.

1339.54 POPOV35:

MANILA HOTEL, fire your arty (artillery) up that 800 metres north, and see how we do.

1340.01 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger, standby for shot. They are getting adjustments to the guns now.

1340.34 POPOV35:

Copy.

1340.09 POPOV36:

Roll up your right wing and look right underneath you.

1340.12 POPOV35:

(angry) I know what you’re talking about.

1340.13 POPOV36:

OK, well they got orange rockets on them.

1340.17 POPOV35:

Orange rockets?

1340.17 POPOV36:

Yeah, I think so.

1340.18 POPOV35:

Let me look.

1340.26 POPOV35:

We need to think about getting home.

1340.29 POPOV36:

3.6 is what it says (a fuel measurement).

1340.31 POPOV35:

Yeah, I know. I’m talking time wise.

1340.35 POPOV36:

I think killing these damn rocket launchers, it would be great.

(The tape then becomes garbled)

1340.52 MANILA HOTEL:

Yeah, POPOV36, MANILA HOTEL. I’ve got other aircraft up this push. Not sure they’re coming to me. Someone else might be working this freak.

1341.00 POPOV35:

Yeah, MANILA34 is working them, break, break.

1340.12 POPOV36:

Yeah, I see that, you see I’m going to roll down.

1340.15 MANILA 34:

Break, be advised MANILA34 is not working the F18s unless they are trying to check in with me, over.

1341.21 POPOV35:

Copy.

1341.24 POPOV36:

OK, do you see the orange things on top of them?

1341.32 MANILA HOTEL:

POPOV 36 from MANILA HOTEL. Are you able to switch to Crimson?

1341.37 POPOV36:

POPOV 36 is rolling in.

1341.40 MANILA HOTEL:

Tell you what.

1341.41 POPOV35:

I’m coming off west. You roll in. It looks like they are exactly what we’re talking about.

1341.49 POPOV36:

We got visual.

1341.50 POPOV36:

OK. I want to get that first one before he gets into town then.

1341.53 POPOV35:

Get him – get him.

1341.55 POPOV36:

All right, we got rocket launchers, it looks like. Number 2 is rolling in from the south to the north, and 2’s in.

1342.04 POPOV35:

Get it.

POPOV36, “rolls in” for an attack and turns his A-10 into a vertical dive to strafe the British column, destroying two Scimitar armoured vehicles and killing L/Cpl of Horse Matty Hull.

1342.09 - GUNFIRE -

1342.18 POPOV35:

I’m off your west.

1342.22 POPOV35:

Good hits.

1342.29 POPOV36:

Got a visual.

1342.30 POPOV35:

I got a visual. You’re at your high 10.

1342.31 POPOV36:

Gotcha.

1342.30 POPOV36:

That’s what you think they are, right?

1342.39 POPOV35:

It looks like it to me, and I got my goggles on them now.

1342.59 POPOV35:

OK, I’m looking at getting down low at this.

1343.13 MANILA HOTEL:

POPOV 36 from MANILA HOTEL, guns . . .

1343.17 MANILA HOTEL:

To engage those targets in the revetts (slopes).

1343.24 POPOV36:

It looks like he is hauling ass. Ha ha. Is that what you think they are?

1343.34 POPOV36:

1–2

1343.35 POPOV35:

It doesn’t look friendly.

1343.38 POPOV36:

OK, I’m in again from the south.

1343.40 POPOV35:

Ok.

1343.47 - GUNFIRE -

1343.54 LIGHTNING 34:

POPOV 34, LIGHTNING 34.

1344.09 POPOV35:

POPOV 35, LIGHTNING 34 GO.

1344.12 LIGHTNING 34:

Roger, POPOV. Be advised that in the 3122 and 3222 group box you have friendly armour in the area. Yellow, small armoured tanks. Just be advised.

1344.16 POPOV35:

Ahh s***.

1344.19 P0POV35:

Got a — got a smoke.

1344.21 LIGHTNING 34:

Hey, POPOV34, abort your mission. You got a, looks we might have a blue on blue situation.

1344.25 POPOV35:

F***. God bless it.

1344.29 POPOV35:

POPOV 34.

1344.35 POPOV35:

F***, f***, f***.

1344.36 MANILA 34:

POPOV34, this is MANILA 34. Did you copy my last, over?

1344.39 POPOV35:

I did.

1344.47 POPOV35:

Confirm those are friendlies on that side of the canal.

1344.51 POPOV35:

S***.

1344.58 MANILA 34:

Standby POPOV.

1345.04 POPOV36:

God dammit.

1344.14 MANILA HOTEL:

Hey POPOV 36, from MANILA HOTEL.

1344.25 MANILA 34:

OK POPOV. Just west of the 3-4 easting. On the berm up there, the 3422 area is where we have our friendlies, over.

1344.39 POPOV35:

All right, POPOV 35 has smoke. Let me know how those friendlies are right now, please.

1344.45 MANILA 34:

Roger, standby.

1344.49 POPOV35:

Gotta go home dude.

1344.50 POPOV36:

Yeah, I know. We’re f***ed.

1345.54 POPOV35:

S***.

1346.01 POPOV36:

As you cross the circle, you are 3 o’clock low.

1346.03 POPOV35:

Roger.

1346.12 POPOV35:

POPOV 35 is Bingo. Let us know what’s happening.

13446.15 MANILA HOTEL:

Roger. We are getting that information for you right now. Standby.

1346.20 POPOV36:

F***.

1346.47 MANILA 34:

POPOV, this is MANILA 34 over.

1346.51 POPOV35:

Go.

1346.55 MANILA 34:

POPOV 4, MANILA 34 over.

1347.01 POPOV35:

Go.

1347.02 MANILA 34:

We are getting an initial brief that there was one killed and one wounded, over.

1347.09 POPOV35:

Copy. RTB (return to base).

1347.18 POPOV35:

I’m going to be sick.

1347.24 POPOV36:

Ah f***.

1347.48 POPOV35:

Did you hear?

1347.51 POPOV36:

Yeah, this sucks.

1347.52 POPOV35:

We’re in jail dude.

1347.59 POPOV36:

Aaaahhhh.

1348.12 SKY CHIEF:

MANILA this is SKY CHIEF over.

1348.18 MANILA34:

This is MANILA 34, send SKY CHIEF.

1348.22 COSTA58:

SKY CHIEF, SKY CHIEF. COSTA 58.

1348.25 MANILA HOTEL:

SKY CHIEF, this is MANILA HOTEL.

1348.30 COSTA58:

SKY CHIEF, SKY CHIEF. COSTA 58.

1348.41 SKY CHIEF:

Relaying for TWINACT, the A-10s are running against friendlies.

1348.47 COSTA58:

POPOV 35, this is COSTA58. Relaying message for TWINACT. Abort, abort.

1348.54 SKY CHIEF:

MANILA how copy A-10s are running against friendlies. Abort. Over.

1349.07 COSTA58:

From TWINACT, abort, abort.

1349. 11 POPOV35:

POPOV 35 aborting.

1349.14 COSTA58:

We will relay that back to TWINACT.

1349.18 POPOV36:

F***. God f***ing s***.

1350.21 POPOV36:

Dammit. F***ing damn it.

1351.17 P0POV36:

God dammit. F*** me dead (weeping).

1351.25 POPOV35:

You with me?

1351.27 POPOV36:

Yeah.

1351.30 POPOV35:

They did say there were no friendlies.

1351.33 POPOV36:

Yeah, I know that thing with the orange panels is going to screw us. They look like orange rockets on top.

1351.48 POPOV35:

Your tape still on?

1351.49 POPOV36:

Yeah.

1351.54 POPOV35:

Mine is end of tape.

Transcript ends.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007060131,00.html
 
#2
That's a scoop AJ.
Yet another reason to invest in a proper IFF capability.
My thoughts are with all those involved - what a situation to have to live with.
 
#4
Moodybitch said:
Clearly you missed the other 2 threads about this then?
No this is in this forum for a good reason
 
#6
#7
milsum said:
Anyone know how this is being covered in the US, and what the public opinion is like over there?
Not strictly applicable: There is some confusion in the US over the exact purpose of a coroner's inquest. The initial reaction is that the reason the British are looking for the tape is as a preliminary to trying to bring charges, not as an attempt to find out what happened.

NTM
 
#8
Having read this and watched the footage. I don`t think this was the old US gung ho, shoot everything type incident. I think it was a genuine mistake,during the fog of war. Yes its very very sad, but I don`t think the pilots should be brought to account. More pressing is how this was leeked to the press in the first place!!!!
 
#10
It seems the pilots were specifically told that there were no friendlies in the area.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#12
Orange panels says it all really lack of restraint and lack of IFF.
 
#15
An acknowledgement and an apology would be nice.
 
#17
Zil 157:



Scimitar:



msr
 
#18
The standard of A10 pilots must be going down - they managed to kill 7 of us in a similar cock-up in Gulf 1. I understand these guys were reservists; any of our septic 'friends' know if there is a training gap likely to lead to such ******* being let loose in an A10 in a hostile environment where they can't differeniate tracks from wheels, flatbeds from armour and orange from green.

I don't buy the 'clear of friendlys' line, they had sodding great orange panels - anyone seen missiles painted orange on the back of green flatbeds not even Saddam's worst would do that.

Yet again blue on blue by the US who then fail to discipline the miscreants and try to bury the evidence.

People have asked why there are some unfriendly comments about the US on this Forum perhaps this will help them understand
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
decent IFF would help after a fashion but some numpties would still do it!
 
#20
The main problem I see in this whole affair is the fact that the SPAMs tried to cover up the whole mess.

If they just came clean, and told of what had been done to the pilots they would have avoided this whole sh1t storm.

Yes, accidents happen, but was this an accident? Without the evidence we will never know. That the pilots regrett this incident can probably be taken for granted.

The pilots seem to make mistake after mistake, esp the orange panal marker problem. Not least of which, they were on the way BACK from a mission, and in someone elses zone (I think POPOV34) why were htey shooting at all? POPOV35 wanted to go back on this very point early on, saying he was low on fuel.

At the very least this points to some serious questions on whether or not part time pilots are capable of this sort of mission. Although I believe the ANG has substantial training time, is it enough for these sort of highly complex missions? Would a different job be more appropriate? ie Tankers, Transports and AWACs.

Perhaps flying rubber dogsh1t out of HK would suit them down to the ground.
 

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