Skip to comments.British Army sniper killed by US fighter jet 'after pilot attacked wrong site by mistake
Posted on 07/08/2014 9:26:23 AM PDT by PoloSec
FULL TITLE: British Army sniper killed by US fighter jet 'after pilot attacked wrong site by mistake after failing to enter co-ordinates into his on-board computer'
A British Army sniper was fatally shot by a US fighter jet in Afghanistan after a mistake by the pilot meant he attacked the wrong site, an inquest heard today.
Forces on the ground had called in air support after being attacked by insurgents in Helmand province.
However, as well as having difficulty identifying landmarks when speaking to ground troops, the F18 pilot failed to enter coordinates for the strike.
As the pilot swooped to attack, Private John Howard, 23, was hit as he took cover in a ditch and died instantly, the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire, was told.
New Zealand-born Private Howard, known as Jack, was serving with 16 Air Assault Brigades Reconnaissance Force when he was killed.
The force had been sent to the Nad-e Ali district of Afghanistan to target compounds of interest which could be linked to insurgent activity.
But on the day of the soldiers death the weather deteriorated and three groups were sent from their base to hold a reassurance meeting with local elders, rather than carry out manoeuvres.
As this took place at around 12pm on December 5, 2010, one of the platoons came under fire and attempts were made to perform a pincer movement and repel the attackers.
Major Frank Reeves told the inquest: Two platoon couldnt move from their position because they were pinned down and we were trying to do a manoeuvre to relieve some of that.
As the battle continued, the insurgents were forced back to an area identified as compound 15, about 100 metres (328ft) from another building where the British forces had made their way to.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I'm calling BS on this story. What pilot is going to shoot w/o coordinates and with the onboard nag system and military GPS, why does he need to identify terrain landmarks. Something is not right.
Don’t know much about the AF/Navy/USMC procedures of engagement but assuming this was,in fact,an honest mistake it’s a damn shame.
Rest in peace, Private John Howard. So sad whenever a soldier is killed, especially by friendly fire.
(Unfortunately, I’m unable to read the whole story because the Daily Mail has become too slow to upload and scroll down with all of the add-ons.)
Should at the very least be the end of his career.
Poor guy had been there forever...
Very sad story. Yeah, I can’t go to the Daily Mail - it totally freaks out my computer.