View Full Version : Friendly Fire

19th Sep 2004, 21:01
CKY's comment about "friendly fire" caught my eye.

Indeed, a good number of casualties are caused by friendly fire, no matter which war. It is important to remember the military axiom: No munition is friendly once it leaves the end of the tube.

Minimizing "friendly fire" casualties has become a fixation in the US military, yet even with advanced targetting and battlefield intelligence systems, they still occur.

Due to the chaos of war and the limitations of humans, it will always be a problem IMHO.

20th Sep 2004, 17:05
particularly true in light of the greater amount of night fighting going on, despite the increased equipment and training dedicated to it.

20th Sep 2004, 18:34
Friendly ***in casualty, a body bag's a body bag ..who's countin'. Like you said, Friendly fire is gonna happen no matter how advance our equipment gets. Unless of course our military is replaced by robots.

22nd Sep 2004, 14:16
One of my closest encounters was a "friend-fire" incident. A really lost Marine patrol had set up an ambush in our AO (Area of Operations) and opened up on us as we exited a treeline into a clearing.

Fortunately no one was injured, and that the Marines heard US-type epithets and not Vietnamese, and ceased firing. But there were a few heart-stopping seconds in there.

Two factors generally lead to these types of incidents: the first is human error, sometimes we see just what we want to see and not what is really there; and secondly, bad communications -- a unit absolutely must keep their higher command posted as to their location. The advent of GPS and battlefield management systems has minimized this, but has not eliminated it -- there are systems (IVIS -- not sure if they are deployed yet) that aid in tracking mechanized forces ... but there is no way to track foot-bound grunts except the Mark I eyeball.

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

22nd Sep 2004, 18:37
Now here's a real-life (semi-rhetorical) dilemma -- which is more fun: (a) getting caught in an ambush; or (b) talking with an ex-spouse?

(Hint: in a firefight, at least you're armed.)

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

23rd Sep 2004, 07:13

Only time i seen Friendly Fire is in Misawa Airbase's Paint Ball Field lol!! i wear me one of them Farmer hats the VC always wore and its really funny like i said im Filipino (From the Philippines if you dont know) and i look like a VC some people say...lol oh well man... Lots of Casualties during Nam were from Friendly fire I read it in books...This Combat Correspondent or whatever was on a PBR and they started taking strafing fire from F-4's and everyone on board died except for him. Plus the ARVN were no better than the VC is what one Author said from "Steel My Soldiers Hearts" By Retired Col.David Hackworth...anyways he said the ARVN used to pop off shots at the Convoys when they were leaving the HQ...that sucks...anyways...i want more Nam games to come out!! with more Heli action because thats basically how majority of the troops got around in the Slicks...oh well...

"But sir im a non-combatant!"
"No such thing today boy!"

23rd Sep 2004, 13:38
On ARVNs: Marvin the ARVN was just as diverse as the people of the country. There is no doubt that by the late 60's the South Vietnamese army had been penetrated by those sympathetic to the North (that is, the NLF's supporters had riddled ARVN's infrastructure in many places).

In my experience, however, the ARVN forces we worked with fought bravely for the most part, though at times their morale was suspect. But could you blame them? Remember, ARVN forces did hold on to South Vietnam for almost four years after the preponderance of our forces were gone (roughly 1971 to 1975).

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

3rd Oct 2004, 17:47
Originally posted by d-2-502-101abn
Minimizing "friendly fire" casualties has become a fixation in the US military, yet even with advanced targetting and battlefield intelligence systems, they still occur.

That certainly does seem to be the case.

However, why is it that is recent conflicts such as Gulf War 1 & 2, that the only forces to kill 'friendlies' were the US. Eveyone else managed to shoot in the correct direction. :mad:

4th Oct 2004, 03:27
The others don't have a Freedom of Information Act to obtain information from Pentagon reports (or their equivalent).

They are very indiscriminate ... hmm, let's see, Achmed, there are two GIs handing out candy to children, how about we go martyr ourselves?

Ka-boom. 2 hurt GIs (body armor), 100 dead and injured kids (no body armor).

I once witnessed a NVA machinegunner mow down about 30 of his own troops, because 4 of ours had entered the beaten zone of their kill zone and they happened to be maneuvering to flank our point.

Just a few examples of many, but you get the drift: sometimes there is too much freedom of information, especially when people start using the numbers for silly-*** political games.

Take point troop and don't get yourself waxed to the max. Geronimo. -- d2

27th Oct 2004, 04:28
Originally posted by RoyalMarineCommando
... only forces to kill 'friendlies' were the US. Eveyone else managed to shoot in the correct direction. :mad:

Typical Brit response :mad:

27th Oct 2004, 11:52
Originally posted by gunmod
Typical Brit response :mad:

Why do you say that - its true. The US forces killed a number of British troops in that conflict through their negligence, whilst every other country were able to show a little restraint. Its the old 'shoot first, ask questions later' senario.

Thats exactly why at this precise moment in time, the US forces have asked the British Black Watch battalion to move further north into Iraq, and use their expertise dealing with the locals, whilst a number of US troops refuse to go on patrol. The reason being, that the US commanders know that the UK forces are better in these situations.

It all stems from the experiences working in Northern Ireland, that Britain are simply better at 'winning hearts and minds' than the US. This has been apparant since the entire operation began.

You can flame me all you want, but we are know fine well that everything mentioned above is true.

27th Oct 2004, 23:17
I understand what you mean RMC, a while back I saw a show on Friendly Fire during the 1st gulf war. They showed footage of an apache fire 3 hellfire missiles into a British convoy that (according to the narrator) had accidentally moved into the apache's "Kill Box". When the pilot got word the targets were friendly, he immediately starting fly toward the convoy, and requested permission to land and give assistance. Brass told him negative, and to carry on with his attack mission.

Made me feel sick to my stomach. But you have to admit, there hasn't been a war fought since the dawn of man that did not have friendly fire incidents. I think the problem with the US military may be due to a heavy of a reliance on technology.

Now don't get me wrong folks, I ain't doggin the US Military, I myself am planning on joining the USAF in abut a year. I just wanted to give my 2.45 cents.


26th Nov 2004, 00:07
You are probably a man of talent. I spent 6 years in the Air Force and have been a contractor to numerous government agencies. The Air Force is a great place, but bear in mind that you may be able to recognize your real strengths in life by going out on your own. If you really want to go in, I would advise you to go in to become a pilot or, if you want to utilize your computer skills your try to get an AFSC related to the Predator UAV program. Many computer jobs in the Air Force would be frustrating and meaningless to ya. Going in with a blank page may land you in the comptroller's office, running the Old Man's favorite COBOL payroll program. My brother was an USAF OSI agent and I spent my years as a combat photographer in Los Angeles...the combat I saw was the General's wifes Prayer breakfast. Pass the raspberry sorbet....thank you....The knowledge I attained while in the Air Force was priceless. It allowed me to branch into optical surveillance and have a killer career in electro optics. The people are the best part about the Air Force. That, I will never trade or denigrate.

29th Nov 2004, 18:18
Thanks for the reply Rasderek. Sounds like you got a sweet career going. Do you work for a satellite surveillance company? Or do you work with micro optics?

Thank you for the advise as well. I am actually going in to become a pilot. It's something I've wanted to do since I went to my first air show. My ultimate goal would be to fly the A-10 or maybe even the beautiful new F-22. :D One thing you might be able to answer for me... I don't have a college degree. Is it still possible to be a pilot without a degree. I've been told you have to be an officer to fly, which of course requires a degree. Thanks again for the advise!! :)