No lessons learnt?

#1
US squadron apologises for soldier's death

The squadron involved in the 'friendly fire' death of Lance Corporal Matty Hull, has apologised for the attack that killed him.

The pilots that fired on a group of armoured vehicles, were reservists from the Idaho National Guard's 190th Fighter Squadron who had never been in action before.

Both are now training junior airmen in diving and strafing in A-10 warplanes.
The case has prompted accusations of the MoD conspiring with the Americans in a cover-up of the circumstances of the death of the soldier from Windsor, Berkshire.

Major General Larry Lafrenz, the commanding general of the Idaho National Guard, said in a statement: 'The entire Idaho National Guard family extends our deepest sympathies to the family of Lance Corporal Hull and the coalition service member who was injured during this unfortunate accident.

'Military pilots are among the most skilled and highly trained, and take every precaution to avoid tragedies like this. However, in the uncertainty of a wartime environment, accidents can and do happen.'

He added: 'While nothing we can do will alleviate the grief of the Hull family, we can only continue to promise all concerned that our personnel will continue to receive the very best training that the Armed Forces have to offer, in an effort to minimise the potential for similar occurrences in the future.'
A US cockpit video and recording of the American pilots involved had been withheld from the inquest, but was leaked to a newspaper, prompting the Americans to agree that it could be shown to the coroner.

A transcript of the footage reveals that the pilots, a major and a lieutenant colonel say on several occasions they can see orange panels on top of the armoured vehicles beneath them, which were used to identify them as coalition, rather than Iraqi, forces.

But they convinced themselves that the orange panels were enemy rocket launchers and opened fire.
FFS... :pissedoff:

Mistakes do happen, but using these guys as instructors...
 
#3
It has to be hoped that someone else is instructing the US equivalent of the ITD5 package. As for, the 'my first colours' package, my four year old son knew what orange panels meant when he was two, after we painted the top of his toy LR.

Sadly these reckless lunatics probably think that the term 'cowboy' is a compliment.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#4
Conversely, maybe they are the best instructors for the job?

If they are truly sorry for their actions, then hopefully they can pass on the knowledge of what happens when you act in haste without checking your targets properly because you are keen to get a kill. If that in turn teaches future generations of A10 pilots to get positive clearance to fire, ensure positive friend/foe ID and to work with the FACs on the ground then it has to be of benefit. If it beats the cowboy attitude out of them, and makes it less of a "yee ha" computer game for the pilots, then it may be worth it.

Example for me was a Cpl who had already been investigated (and acquitted) for charges of murder in Kosovo. On deployment to Iraq the Toms were desperately keen to kill anything that moved. He was the voice of wisdom, telling them what the repercussions of their actions would be if they ignored the ROE, and how unpleasant it was to be the subject of a murder enquiry.

Duke

Edited to add - after the LCofH Hull attack, we had some USMC AH attached to our BG for a while. Their first morning consisted of being walked around the vehicle park, being briefed by the crews and commanders on their tactics, recognition features etc etc etc. They did not fly for us until we were certain that they were aware of every type of vehicle in the BG.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Well said Duke. I was going to go in to a rant, but you brought me up short. I hadn't considered the lessons these guys would learn and then pass on as instructors.

Perhaps it was also a good thing that they were removed from the field of battle.

I'll repeat on this thread that it was and is a good thing that the cockpit footage was aired on national television and on the web. The more people that see this mistake and the stupidity involved, the more people will hopefully learn from it.
 
#7
I think there is a command issue here. These pilots may have been experienced flyers but this was their first combat mission of this kind, with adrenaline charging. Was it really wise to send them off together? The final decision to attack seems to have been governed by time constraints to do with low fuel issues. I am sorry to say this, but to my eyes their actions looked reckless. They clearly had some doubt about the attack before they rolled in.

I don't think the US have treated us (Brits) any different if it had been their own blue-on-blue. Anyone familiar with the Pat Tillman case will know of the tactics employed to attempt to cover up that fratricide. It is pointless to cover up this kind of thing. The US could upgrade the info that reaches an A10 cockpit by installing a datalink system. Lack of truth, or fear of the truth only leads to more unnecessary deaths.
 
#8
The_Duke said:
Conversely, maybe they are the best instructors for the job?

If they are truly sorry for their actions, then hopefully they can pass on the knowledge of what happens when you act in haste without checking your targets properly because you are keen to get a kill. If that in turn teaches future generations of A10 pilots to get positive clearance to fire, ensure positive friend/foe ID and to work with the FACs on the ground then it has to be of benefit. If it beats the cowboy attitude out of them, and makes it less of a "yee ha" computer game for the pilots, then it may be worth it.

Example for me was a Cpl who had already been investigated (and acquitted) for charges of murder in Kosovo. On deployment to Iraq the Toms were desperately keen to kill anything that moved. He was the voice of wisdom, telling them what the repercussions of their actions would be if they ignored the ROE, and how unpleasant it was to be the subject of a murder enquiry.

Duke

Edited to add - after the LCofH Hull attack, we had some USMC AH attached to our BG for a while. Their first morning consisted of being walked around the vehicle park, being briefed by the crews and commanders on their tactics, recognition features etc etc etc. They did not fly for us until we were certain that they were aware of every type of vehicle in the BG.
None of which alters the fact that we have all now heard these two positively identifying coalition recognition panels and then strafing them twice. Rather than having been acquitted of murder on the basis of straying a little too close to the edge of the ROE envelope, they actively and deliberately crossed that line.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#9
Fas,

I am not supporting their actions - they are inexcusable. I am not aware of the details of the American investigation, but I doubt I would agree with the findings.

My comment was merely about them being used as instructors. If the US are going to allow them to continue to serve, I would rather they imparted their experiences to new pilots to try and prevent this happening again than to continue on flying duties.

Duke
 
#10
Everything I've read here recently tells me that the A10s in AFG are doing a fine job, so maybe lessons have been learned. Or maybe it's just because the Taliban don't have any vehicles for them to misidentify.
 
#11
The_Duke said:
Fas,

I am not supporting their actions - they are inexcusable. I am not aware of the details of the American investigation, but I doubt I would agree with the findings.

My comment was merely about them being used as instructors. If the US are going to allow them to continue to serve, I would rather they imparted their experiences to new pilots to try and prevent this happening again than to continue on flying duties.

Duke
Instructors are supposed to provide a positive example.

Your plan would be just as well served by having them provide a 40 minute visiting lecture. or even being strung up in a cage in the training wing corridor as a reminder.

Pair of cunts who should be in prison, pondering the human cost of their gung-ho desire to get a kill.
 
#12
angular said:
Everything I've read here recently tells me that the A10s in AFG are doing a fine job, so maybe lessons have been learned. Or maybe it's just because the Taliban don't have any vehicles for them to misidentify.
While no A10s involved {Edit: Ah. Yeah, they were}, the canucks have been splashed twice.
 

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