Originally Posted by dtkw
Sorry it happened, they used the wrong planes for ground troop support IMO. They should have sent the A10 Warhog that can fly lower and take all kind of assaults for the job. A friend of mine is a A10 pilot, he said he could see the troops before he opened fire knowing they're not 'friend'. Unlike the F15 which drop 'pigs' from high above not knowing what troop they're hitting.
An A10 pilot straffed the shit out of a Canadian position about 2 years ago, if memory serves me correctly. 1 dead, 26 wounded. Initial reports had that guy as responding to a Canadian call for assistance, but this was false. He mistook a garbage can fire as a target of opportunity and opened-up on it.
Five years ago two Illinois ANG F16 pilots dropped a laser-guided bomb on a Canadian training position that had been clearly marked and noted in the air combat orders, after disregarding two direct orders to hold fire from their AWACS controller. A reconstruction of their flight path cleary shows shows how Major Harry Schmidt, the trigger-man (and second in command on the flight) went looking for a reason to drop a bomb instead of following his rules of engagement.
I'm certain there are hundreds, if not thousands, of instances where US air support is not only welcome, but means the difference between life and death. These guys have a tough job in an enviroment that does not have clearly-drawn battle lines. But there has to be true accountability when things clearly go wrong. Not just out of respect of the soldiers who have lost lives or have been injured. But just as importantly to continue allied forces to work together in an atmosphere of trust. There has been a real lack of accountability. Nothing more than wrist-slaps and circling the wagons.
DR, I'm sorry that you lost three of your guys this week. We lost three this week ourselves, running our total up to 69. 6 of those 69 have been fratricide (the sxith was machine-guned from behind by a US Army soldier who didn't realize where he was on the battlefield. I don't like to call it "friendly fire" because there's nothing friendly about it. Hopefully the UK will have better luck than Canada has in the push for an open and transparent investigation.