Military pilots charged in Afghan bombing

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Stewart, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. Stewart

    Stewart Guest

    You all remember the incident where U.S. pilots accidental bombed and killed some Canadian soldiers who where training in Afganistan.....??

    Accidental bombing killed four
    September 13, 2002 Posted: 2:13 PM EDT (1813 GMT)

    From Barbara Starr
    CNN Washington

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Citing a "fundamental lack of flight discipline," the Air Force Friday charged two Illinois Air National Guard pilots with involuntary manslaughter and assault for their role in the fatal accidental bombing of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan this past spring.

    The April 17 incident killed four Canadians and wounded eight others. F-16 pilots Maj. Harry Schmidt and Maj. William Umbach were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and eight counts of assault. Schmidt was also charged with failing to exercise appropriate flight discipline and not complying with the rules of engagement in Afghanistan. Schmidt was flying the plane which dropped a 500-pound bomb on a group of Canadian soldiers conducting a nighttime training exercise in southern Afghanistan.

    The pilot said he believed he was bombing an enemy ground position and mistook the training fire for enemy action. Schmidt said he fired in self-defense, but the investigation centered around whether he was given permission to fire on the target.
    Umbach, the flight leader who was piloting another plane, was also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter and eight counts of assault. Investigators believe that as lead pilot, he should have stopped Schmidt from dropping his bomb before controllers gave approval to engage the target.
    Umbach was also charged with failing to exercise appropriate flight command and control and to ensure compliance with rules of engagement.

    The charges come after a recommendation from Air Force investigators looking into the incident. A final report on the bombing was released by both the Pentagon and the Canadian government. "Both pilots ... demonstrated poor airmanship and judgment and a fundamental lack of flight discipline throughout the course of the incident," read the report, which also cited "poor planning and preparation combined with problems with attention, misperception and fatigue."

    The pilots could now face an Article 32 proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That is similar to a grand jury proceeding and the results could send them to a court martial.

    NRAJOE YOU TALKIN' TO ME!? Forum Contributor

    Anyone ever hear of "friendly fire"? Although theres nothing "friendly" about it, it is an unfortunate reality in every conflict and those pilots are punishing themselves every day that passes. Ground them for a little while but for pitys sake don't court martial them! We don't need to lose professional fighter pilots at this stage in the game! :jet: :mad:

  3. tommy

    tommy G&G Enthusiast

    i'm sure those pilots fell bad enough for doing it . now they have to go to court and live it all over again. to me when you join the service that's the chance you take. to get shot or killed they never tell you by who!!. it was an accident . point blank!!!. i do feel sorry for both sides. the ones that are dead and the ones that did it.