Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Blue on Blue Incident Caught on Camera – NATO fighter jet drops 500 pound bomb on US troops

A new video posted on YouTube yesterday shows video footage of a U.S. blue on blue incident during a firefight in Afghanistan.

One of the soldiers in the Observation Post captured the video on a camera attached to his helmet.

It shows U.S. troops from the 1st Infantry Division at an undisclosed FOB engaging Taliban forces across the valley.

An air strike is called in to drop a 500 pound bomb on the enemy position. At the start of the video, the radio in the background can be heard saying “30 seconds to time on target.” About 15 seconds later, sounds of the jet flying over can be heard, along with the scream of the bomb that is about to hit just 15 meters from the OP.

After the bomb hits, the shock of the troops is apparent, as it takes a few moments for what just happened to sink in.  Surprisingly, there were no deaths or serious injuries. This is more than likely due to the actions of the First Sergeant, who had the troops come in and bunker down for safety prior to the air strike.

A short interview posted by the author of the video states that three troops most likely would’ve died had it not been for the First Sergeant’s “stand to” call.  A friend of this Author stated, after watching the video, that he had been about a quarter-mile from a 500 pound bomb blast in Afghanistan, and it shook him down to his bones.  We can only image what these guys felt, being only 15 meters from the impact zone.

As of this writing, there is no available information regarding what caused the bomb to hit off target, or which NATO unit was flying CAS (Close Air Support) that day.  From previous blue on blue incidents that have occurred in Afghanistan, it could of been something as simple as getting one number wrong when communicating GPS coordinates, or confusion as to the location of the friendly ground forces.

For more information visit funker530’s blog.

Bjørn Broten for The Aviationist.com

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Night Operations at Bagram Airfield: F-16s, A-10s unleashed over Afghanistan

F-16s, A-10s as well as MC-12s and C-5s Service deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, work around the clock, ensuring mission success 24 hours a day.

Taken in the last days, the following images show the never ending flying activity of all the U.S. Air Force assets operating within the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Here below, an A-10 Thunderbolt II receives a final check before taking off on a pre-dawn mission from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2014:

A-10

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon receives a final check before taking off on a mission shortly after dawn from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 11.

F-16 after dawn

A U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off on a nighttime mission from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 11:

A-10 take off

Take off at dawn for an F-16C:

F-16 Makos takeoff

A MC-12W Liberty prepares for another ISR mission:

MC-12W night

A C-5B Galaxy is parked on the flight line ramp at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan where it offloaded multiple pallets of cargo and passengers:

C-5

 

 

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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Video shows Angry Afghan Villagers stoning wreck of U.S. Predator Drone

An American UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) crashes in Afghanistan. Local people stone it.

The following footage made its first appearance on Facebook a couple of days ago.

It allegedly shows what seems to be a group of Afghans stoning the wreck of a (most probably American) MQ-1 Predator drone, while other people cheer and laugh.

It’s almost impossible to determine why, when and where the unmanned aircraft crashed. Still, what can be said is that U.S. drones involved in overseas clandestine missions (in Afghanistan or Iran – do you remember the stealth RQ-170 Sentinel captured by Iran?) don’t carry any marking, serial, roundel etc.

 



H/T to Gian Luca Onnis for the heads-up

 

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AC-130H Spectre gunship’s final mission

On Jan. 16, the 16th Special Operations Squadron conducted its final mission with the AC-130H gunship at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

To celebrate the retirement of the Spectre, whose development began in the early 1960s, the 16th SOS launched its whole fleet of 8 AC-130Hs; a tough and remarkable achievement, obtained thanks to the teamwork of pilots, maintainers, loadmasters and maintenance teams.

In 2013, the Squadron completed its last AC-130H Spectre gunship deployment in Afghanistan after 40 years of active service all around the world.

16 SOS will soon receive the AC-130J, a plane equipped with more modern avionics but more vulnerable to ground fire as a recent report pointed out. Indeed, the new aircraft lacks armor needed to protect some aircraft’s vital parts and, above all, its crew.

AC-130H Elephant Walk

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

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“Dambusters” Squadron’s final mission. Will reform and get F-35B in 2018.

RAF’s legendary Squadron disbanded 71 years after famous raid over Germany. Will reform and get F-35s in a few years.

Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron known as the “Dambusters”, from the daring night missions against the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams, pivotal to Hitler’s industrial heartland in the Ruhr Valley, back in 1943, completed their last operational mission (over Afghanistan) with the Tornado GR4.

It will be a temporary disbandment though: the unit will reform in 2018, with both Royal Air Force and Navy personnel and it will be equipped with the F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighter.

This last flight was a Close Air Support (CAS) mission, which aimed at helping the coalition troops and was made by Squadron Leader, Mark Jackson.

The Dambuster played recce and CAS roles during their stay in Afghanistan, tasks that were handed over to No II (Army Co-operation) Squadron from RAF Marham.

The statistics of Dambusters’ last tour in  Afghanistan are astounding: the Squadron accumulated 188 missions and logged more than 1500 flying hours.

In the article published on the RAF website Mark Jackson said:

As I stepped down from the aircraft for the last time, my emotions were mixed. Tinged with sadness is an overwhelming sense of achievement for what the Squadron have accomplished. I am sure that the original Dambusters felt a similar poignancy at the end of their iconic raid and would echo how very proud I am of those that serve today.

One of a few interesting tasks the Dambusters performed was the show of force; 14 ones were conducted on their stay in Afghanistan.

What is it? It is basically flying fast and low to deter enemy forces from attacking coalition ground troops. In this way the Squadron paid tribute to its early days, when low level flying was needed to sneak close to the German dams.

Jackson reminisces, that it is nothing compared to the raids back in 1943, since then, the bomber pilots “came back from their mission pulling out bits of trees and twigs from the aircraft, they were literally skimming the trees to get there.”

The Dambusters are to be officially disbanded in March, but then there is a plan to reform the unit as the the RAF’s first Lightning II Squadron in 2018, provided all the problems with the American STOVL (Short Take Off Veritical Landing) stealth jet will be solved by then.

In this way the legacy will be maintained. Wing Commander Arthurton is waiting for the Dambusters to come back, as he says: “the spirit and ethos of this famous Squadron will no doubt endure as it embarks on the next chapter of its illustrious history.”

Written with David Cenciotti

617 Sqn final flight

Image Credit: Crown Copyright

 

 

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