Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ricdoug, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. ricdoug

    ricdoug Monkey+++

    <TABLE width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>Canadians appreciate U.S. air support but shocked by new friendly fire incident
    Sep 04 3:21 PM US/Eastern
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    Canadians appreciate U.S. air support but shocked by new friendly fire incident LES PERREAUX PANJWAII, Afghanistan (CP) - The sun lifted into a clear sky with the usual haze of dust at 5:30 a.m. Monday while two U.S. A-10 Thunderbolts swept down the narrow Arghandab River valley, blasting away at supposed Taliban positions.
    A young corporal from Newfoundland glanced toward the heavens, noting one aircraft's sickening low-pitched moan as it shattered the ground with a 10-second burst of about 300 shells the size of a pop cans.
    It's far from the rat-tat-tat usually associated with a machine-gun.
    "It's like the noise a whale makes when it runs into a ship," said Cpl. J. R. Smith from Mount Pearl, N.L.
    An hour later, the soldiers found out more than 30 Canadian soldiers, including one who died, were the unintended targets at the bottom of that strafing run. A giant Chinook helicopter was needed to ferry out all the wounded.
    Immediate anger gave way to resigned frustration. Smith's unit was mounted up for an attack but the soldiers knew they were likely going to cool their heels for a while as their commanders dealt with the wounded and came up with a new plan.
    Smith described friendly fire as "the worst thing that can happen."
    "It hits us hard. But in a mission like this with the terrain as tough as it is, close air support is a huge factor. It gets their heads down so we can make our moves," Smith said.
    Other soldiers had questions and remembered the friendly fire incident four years ago when a U.S. plane bombed Canadians on a training exercise, killing four of them.
    "It's not forgotten for me, and it's not forgotten for the public, either," said Cpl. Pablo Mckelvey of Montreal.
    "They will want answers. We have so much equipment to prevent this sort of thing, all kinds of protective measures. I can't understand why an incident like that can still happen."
    Canadian commanders say all but five of the wounded are expected to return to duty.
    In the previous 48 hours, the A-10s had fired thousands of shells trying to dislodge dug-in Taliban fighters. Canadian mortars and artillery, other U.S. and NATO warplanes and helicopter gunships also thundered down on the rebel positions.
    The first attempt at a ground assault from the south on Sunday was pushed back by fierce Taliban resistance. Four Canadian soldiers died and six others were wounded.
    While those deaths seemed to stiffen the resolve of Canadian solders, many seemed more rattled by the friendly fire.
    "It's enough that we have to deal with the threat coming from the outside and a very well-known enemy," said McKelvey.
    "You never expect you're just going to be around your carrier and you're going to get friendly fired. You don't expect it. You never expect it."
    Taliban forces continued to probe for Canadian weaknesses Monday, setting up ambushes and getting blasted in a couple attempts to sneak behind Canadian lines. No Canadians were hurt and several Taliban were killed in the action.
    The A-10 can take out the toughest tank in the U.S. military with the guns and bombs packed onto its wings. Soldiers shudder at the thought of being on the receiving end.
    The A-10 is nicknamed the Warthog for the grunt if its guns, thick skin and ugly appearance.
    "It's unfortunate the incident happened, but for a complex environment with an enemy that is that dug in, air support is required for this mission," said Sgt. Chad Garton of Task Force Kandahar's Bravo Company. Behind him, smoke billowed from more bombs aimed at insurgent positions. "It's very three dimensional out there. You have different elements coming from different angles, but sometimes this does occur."
  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Man that sucks, I have been out there near A10 Fire and would never want to be on the other End of it. I hope the Cannucks pull through ok, friendly fire is one of those things that dont happen all that often, but when it does it inflicts great damage cause you either dont see it comeing from behind or dont expect it.
  3. ricdoug

    ricdoug Monkey+++

    Those Warthogs are wicked...

    It's a Plane "built around" a Gatling Gun. When you hear 'em it's too late! Ric
  4. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    I've seen them doing live firing runs at Ft. Polk, when England AFB was still active, and heard them at NTC. At first, with a couple of engines running, sounded like afterburners.
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