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back to article US Marine Corps misses target, finds and bombs Nemo

A mishandled exercise is being blamed for four bombs – two inert, and two explosive but unarmed – being ditched On Australia's World-Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Two American Harrier fighter-bombers lifted off from the USS Bonhomme Richard as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre, carrying 500-pound bombs. Their target was a …

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Go

Just do like NASA

and outsource the salvage operations to Amazon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just do like NASA

Much like after 11/09 then.

Group of Saudis bomb USA. Americans bomb Iraq and Afghanistan.....

As they used to say in the war:

When the English fired, the Germans ducked.

When the Germans fired, the English ducked.

When the Americans fired, everybody ducked....

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Expect four more decades of this

Guess what, the F-35B also has limited bring back.

So what part of France should the UK's shiny new LockMart fighters drop inert bombs on?

I guess it's too late to reverse course yet again for the F-35C.

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Meh

The Harrier

An aircraft designed by the UK, built under licence by the US. UK aircraft then scrapped and sold off to the US by our Government as a cost cutting exercise. The tragedy is not the bombs but the tech we give away for others to exploit.

Just like the jet engine the UK gave to USSR which found its way into the MIG15.

Politicians have a lot to answer for and they never learn because they seem to do a lot of it.

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Re: The Harrier

"Just like the jet engine the UK gave to USSR which found its way into the MIG15."

As I understand it (i.e. probably not very well), the story goes like this:

The MiG-15 designers needed an engine, and the Rolls-Royce Nene looked like an ideal candidate for the job they wanted to do. So they asked Stalin for permission to approach the British for it. He didn't think that they'd be successful ("only a fool sells his secrets to the enemy"), but gave the go-ahead anyway. The relevant British minister of the time was pro-Soviet, and gave the green light to the build-under-license transaction, although Rolls-Royce never managed to collect the license fees.

So it didn't just "find its way into the MiG-15". They approached the British with the explicit intent of incorporating the engine into the plane. Curiously, a version of this engine was license-built in the US for the F9F Panther, so it served on both sides of the Cold War...

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Anonymous Coward

So what part of France should the UK's shiny new LockMart fighters drop inert bombs on?

Does it matter?

It can be easily blamed on the Americans anyway.

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Re: The Harrier

Wasn't there a great story about how one of the Soviet delegation wore boots with special sticky soles? Walking around the factory, he was able to collect a goodly selection of dust and filings, which were analyzed back in Russia and gave insights into the alloys used.

It's remarkable what can be achieved by the human brain, if used.

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Re: The Harrier

Many similar stories (and even worse) in "Empire of the Clouds": http://www.amazon.co.uk/Empire-Clouds-Britains-Aircraft-Ruled/dp/0571247954/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374590679&sr=1-1&keywords=empire+of+the+clouds

Read it and weep.

"Politicians have a lot to answer for and they never learn..."

Why would they? They never suffer any consequences, and indeed are often richly rewarded. It's other people who get it in the neck.

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Re: The Harrier

I think you will find that the Korean war was a very HOT war.

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WTF?

Assuming they hadn't run the thing aground on the reef, couldn't they have ditched the bombs near the carrier? Unless there is a policy of dumping them somewhere shallow to allow their recovery.

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Dropped exactly where they were meant to

The area the bombs were jettisoned in was one of the areas that is always designated for such in the vicinity of the Townsend Island Bombing Range

This has been substantiated by Defence's existing Environmental Impact Assessment plans, by the GBRMPA, by existing and previous notices to mariners and by subsequent clarification by both Defence and the USN.

In other words, a compelete non-story as soon as the facts have been checked. You may wish to try this in future.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

"In other words, a compelete non-story as soon as the facts have been checked. You may wish to try this in future."

Err, if they jettisoned the bombs then by definition, they _did_ miss their target and therefore this is a story .. Unless of course, you wish to assert that they were practicing 'What to do with bombs when you can't drop them where you want' ..

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Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

Brilliant you win the retard of the year award, well done!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

Americans miss the target a lot, at least this time they didn't kill anyone.

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Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

Dropped where emergency jettison bombs have always been dropped since the inception of the Townsend Island Bombing Range. The place where they were dropped is just one of a number of such zones nearby the bombing range. Not in the slightest bit unusual.

If they'd dropped them outside of such areas, then you may have cause for concern.

This on the other hand is just an example of people who aren't aware of the full story gettting excited over something unexciting. It also reeks of the "churnalism" that the Register was crowing about not doing only a few weeks ago. From el' Reg I expect something other than a repost of the press release.

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Thumb Down

Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

The Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage site. There are no zone to drop bombs there.

The US even offered to retrieve the bombs.

U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. David Levy said Monday the Navy was currently reviewing the possibility of retrieving the ordnances in consultation with Australian authorities.

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FAIL

"Americans miss the target a lot, at least this time they didn't kill anyone."

Well thank goodness the RAF never missed any targets.

"The majority of the bombs dropped by British forces during the Kosovo conflict missed their targets, an investigation by the BBC and industry magazine Flight International has revealed.

A classified Ministry of Defence report revealed the accuracy rate of missiles fired by the Royal Air Force was just 40% - and in the case of some bombs, as low as 2%."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/879560.stm

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FAIL

Re: Dropped exactly where they were meant to

I guess the RAAF must have imagined the bombing range they've been using for over 50 years.

The RAAF and Australian army have been dropping stuff and blowing stuff up "within" the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for years, especially off Townsville.

Like I said, a mere 2 minutes of fact checking could have found this out.

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Re: "Americans miss the target a lot, at least this time they didn't kill anyone."

'"The majority of the bombs dropped by British forces during the Kosovo conflict missed their targets, an investigation by the BBC and industry magazine Flight International has revealed.'

Virtually all bombs miss their target; otherwise they wouldn't need to be nearly so powerful. Most bombs miss their target by a very considerable distance, and have always done so. In the Allies' "precision" bombing of France, Germany, etc. in WW2, bombs often missed their intended targets by well over a mile. (Hardly surprising, when they were dropped from a height of several miles, often in windy conditions or in darkness, under attack by fighters and flak. See, for example, "Catch-22", passim).

Ever since the 1910s, advocates of air power have grossly exaggerated the accuracy of bombing. They get away with it because:

1. It's rotten and unpatriotic (and letting the side down) to criticize Our Brave Lads when they are doing their best to protect us from The Evil Hordes.

2. There's a lot of money at stake, and the commercial interests behind aircraft and bomb manufacturers want to keep the profits coming in.

3. There's usually no one left alive where the bombs actually fell.

4. The politicians and brass who launch the attacks are hardly likely to admit they failed pathetically.

Remember the dozens of clever "surgical strikes" that were going to snuff out Saddam Hussain before the invasion of Iraq had even begun? They killed a lot of people, but not Saddam. (Although that was probably due more to pathetically bad "intelligence" than inaccurate targetting).

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Re: "Americans miss the target a lot, at least this time they didn't kill anyone."

Funny how the RAF managed to knock down the walls of a Nazi prison....Operation Jericho.

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Coat

New procedure.

Aborting a mission in case you bomb civilians ... this is a new procedure, right?

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Headmaster

Re: New procedure.

@Gray Ham - >"Aborting a mission in case you bomb civilians ... this is a new procedure, right?"

"Civilians"? We Americans aren't familiar with this term. Are you referring to "non-combatant enemy personnel"?

Please TRY to use the correct terminology - I know it's difficult for Brits. However, we DO need to describe them accurately in our "collateral damage" reports.

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Re: New procedure.

The boats might have had Americans onboard

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Big Brother

Re: New procedure.

@Yet Another - >"The boats might have had Americans onboard"

Americans? You must be referring to "domestic surveillance targets".

Again - correct terminology is absolutely vital. Your satisfactory cooperation will assure our greater success in the War on Terror.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New procedure.

"non-combatant enemy personnel"

Doesn't that only apply to the ones you want to torture, and lock up for decades without trial?

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>Assuming they hadn't run the thing aground on the reef, couldn't they have ditched the bombs near the >carrier? Unless there is a policy of dumping them somewhere shallow to allow their recovery.

In case you missed it, they had to jettison the ordinance in order to make it back to the amphibious assault ship (not a "carrier") in the first place because they ran low on fuel and needed to loose the 'dead weight' to make it safely back.

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Anonymous Coward

People's definitions of "carrier" vary. To my mind, if it's a ship and you can land an aircraft on it then it's a type of aircraft carrier. It might be specifically a helicopter cruiser, amphibious warfare ship, assault ship, "through-deck cruiser", helicopter carrier, or even a seaplane carrier but an aircraft carrier all the same.

However, if you are going to pull people up on definitions, check your own spelling first. It should be "ordnance", not "ordinance" - the latter being a law, instruction, regulation etc.

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Facepalm

and it should be lose, not loose...

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Anonymous Coward

"and needed to loose the 'dead weight' to make it safely back."

Presumably pulling the 'Eject' handle would have been similarly effective at disposing of some dead weight.

I note that they had been trying to bomb a rather large target without success multiple times.

The USA is notable for having one of the worst trained armies in the first world. Just for reference British troops and special forces are far better trained....

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Unhappy

"The USA is notable for having one of the worst trained armies in the first world. Just for reference British troops and special forces are far better trained...."

...and then handed their P45.

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>Just for reference British troops and special forces are far better trained....

And yet they haven't managed to retake Australia!

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Headmaster

and it should be lose, not loose...

Either word works in this particular context.

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FAIL

"...Just for reference British troops and special forces are far better trained...."

Really? That must be why by and large you get rolling eyes when us well trained Brits find out that it's the RAF flying close air support in dusty places. The RAF are shit at CAS.

"Completely incompetent and utterly, utterly useless in protecting ground troops in Afghanistan"

"The RAF have been utterly utterly useless. In contrast USAF have been fantastic"

Leaked emails of MAJ James Loden 3 PARA, Herrick IV 2006

They always have been. The reputation of the RAF for blue on blue is historically among the best/worst.

The record of the RAF in WW2 for getting things totally wrong is absolutely abysmal. Typhoon pilots were a law unto themselves. Ask both the RN and Army,. Bomber Command was probably worse considering they sometimes killed hundreds of Toms at a time. Fighter Command doesn't get off either. First RAF aircraft shot down in WW2? Hurricanes on Spitfires, Douglas bader? shot down by a Spitfire. Guy Gibson VC? Mosquito shot down by another Spitfire. Can you see a picture forming here?

We never shoot our own, or anyone from an allied country. Our tanks never engage each other. Our SF never screw up dropping gear in the wrong place or engaging each other 'cos they didn't even know they were there. The RN never shoot down Army helos, kill civvies or park ships on rocks at great cost to taxpayers. And we never do any of these things 'cos we are so much better trained.

Another pointless, jingoistic, dick measuring contest from the historically uninformed and never been uniformed.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Wasn't in American National Guards that blew the fuck out of the British Tanks in Iraq - wasn't it American

anti-aircraft missles that shot down an RAF Tornado? Just wondering.

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Mushroom

Fine for littering?

Like the one NASA received for Skylab debris perhaps?

http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/07/14/1556228/nasas-skylab-400-littering-fine-paid-by-dj

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Holmes

splash or SPLASH

The AV-8B Harrier can't land vertically with a bomb load, one of the restrictions of this type of aircraft. The Bonhomme Richard is an amphibious assault ship, not an aircraft carrier as such, no arresting gear. The park covers 345,400 square kilometers. It is quite likely that the aircraft could not reach a safe drop point outside the park and return to their carrier with sufficient fuel to land. So, your choices become 1) Bomb the civilians that are parked in your bombing range, 2) drop your ordinance in the safest place you can reach and still have enough gas to land, or 3) drop the whole aircraft with the ordinance in the drink. They found a deep water location and dropped 4 chunks of metal in it, with plans already underway to recover them. No bang. No large hole in the Coral Reef, which would have happened if they chose shallower (and easier to retrieve from) water. Pilots safe. Coral safe. Passing ships safe. Idiots in boats in a bombing range safe. Ideally it would never have happened, but is it really worth headline news across the entire planet ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: splash or SPLASH

Bombs are like annual leave, use 'em or lose 'em.

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Re: splash or SPLASH

A bit bloody stupid taking bombs out if you're not going to be able to bring them back if you have to.

And just so they can practice murdering anybody who gets in Uncle Sam's way.

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They did exactly what they should have done

They followed orders and did exactly what they were suppose to do and no one was harmed or even endangered.

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Black Helicopters

Geowarmageddon

Saturday: US jets drop bombs on the Great Barrier Reef

Sunday: M6.5 earthquake in New Zealand

Coincidence? I think not.

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Anonymous Coward

This is a non-story.

It's not like they were hot-dogging through the Italian Alps, sliced the cable of a ski lift, plunging a bunch of people to their deaths and on returning to base burned all cockpit recorded evidence.

That would be something to get angry about.

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Anonymous Coward

Not the way I heard it

Never let the facts get in the way of bashing the Murricans.

Hot-dogging - no, following assigned mission profile.

Cut ski lift cable - yes

People killed - yes (unfortunately)

Burned cockpit evidence? No way, most of the "evidence" isn't in the airplane anyway. The US never denied responsibility for this accident. There was no cover-up.

Tell you what, the next time someone in your neighborhood decides they are in need of some Liebensraum, call and press one for American English, two for Spanish, three for British English, then leave a message, your phone call is important to us. The NSA will be recording your call, so we don't have to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not the way I heard it

I think you'll find the pilot and navigator served time and were then drummed out of the Marine Corp for burning a videotape of that particular flight.

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Re: Not the way I heard it

"Tell you what, the next time someone in your neighborhood decides they are in need of some Liebensraum..."

Is that what Germans say when they tell you to "get a room"?

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Bombs?

Calling them bombs would be a bit of an exaggeration. Sealed cast-iron casings filled with concrete.

They are probably more environmentally friendly than the hot-air emanated by the outraged environmentalists, busily self-promoting themselves on the BBC.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bombs?

1) The fuel needed to carry them is enough to counter that strangely tangential environmental claim.

2) "self-promoting themselves" - ah. This explains 1).

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Re: Bombs?

Wait a second, AC - are you saying that US Marines should train without bombs AND without fuel?

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