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  • Aussie pilots refused to bomb 40 times

    Australia's F/A-18 pilots defied the orders of American commanders and refused to drop their bombs on up to 40 missions during the invasion of Iraq, it can now be revealed.

    In a remarkable account of how our airmen applied Australian rules of engagement, an RAAF pilot has told The Sun-Herald each of the 14 RAAF Hornet pilots aborted three to four bombing runs because intelligence given at pre-flight briefings did not concur with what they found at the target.

    Last night, The Sun-Herald could not confirm whether or not American field commanders raised objections about the Australian pilots' actions, nor if US pilots later carried out the bombing runs themselves.

    But Australia's Defence Force chief, General Peter Cosgrove backed the pilots' action, and said there were no recriminations.

    Squadron Leader Daryl Pudney last week described how he and other Australian F/A-18 pilots were forced to weigh up the risk of civilian casualties in a split second before dropping their bombs.

    He said pilots broke off many missions after they saw the target and decided there was not a valid military reason to drop their bombs.

    During the war, which began a year ago on March 19, the Defence Department acknowledged just one RAAF Hornet pilot had aborted a mission set by Allied headquarters.

    On March 23, four days into the war, Air Marshal Angus Houston said an RAAF pilot called off a planned attack due to poor weather and lack of air support.

    But it appears there were fundamental differences between the US dominated headquarters and Australian pilots over what constituted a valid military target.

    Squadron Leader Pudney said under Australia's rules of engagement pilots had to ask themselves on each mission whether it was right to drop their bombs.

    "Each guy would have made that decision once to half a dozen times in the conflict. It was presented as being just one pilot in one incident, but it was all of us several times," he said.

    "We were providing an identification of targets in conjunction with ground forces, and if we were not 100 per cent sure we were taking out a valid military target in accordance with our specifications we just did not drop."

    Squadron Leader Pudney said he could not comment on the reasons they aborted specific missions. But it seems that it was often to avoid the unnecessary killing of civilians.


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    Mr. G

  • #2
    The Aussies should stick to crocodile hunting and Fosters.
    Make America Great For Once.

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    • #3
      aborted three to four bombing runs because intelligence given at pre-flight briefings did not concur with what they found at the target.

      We could apply that to the entire freaking war!
      Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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      • #4
        Australia has been our most consistent ally of all. They're brave. If this were the case, the subject matter, I'd find it depressing as they're record is one of kicking ass and taking names later.

        The Sun Herald? Right!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DaLode@Mar 13 2004, 10:05 PM
          Australia has been our most consistant allie of all. They're brave. If this were the case, the subject matter, I'd find it depressing as they're record is one of kicking ass and taking names later.

          The Sun Herald? Right!
          You would find it "depressing" if they didn't attack a target because they felt the intelligence was bad and that many civilians would have been killed?

          Sounds prudent to me.
          Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by madyaks+Mar 13 2004, 09:08 PM-->
            QUOTE (madyaks @ Mar 13 2004, 09:08 PM)

          • #7
            Originally posted by The Kev@Mar 13 2004, 06:23 PM
            The Aussies should stick to crocodile hunting and Fosters.
            Kev,

            On behalf of all holders of Aussie Passports..

            BLOW ME!!!

            Australia continues to be the staunchest ally of the US...but, when facts contradict info., I think what they did was right.

            We call that "fair dinkum"..

            If you dont like it...feel free to Suk the Sav, mate.

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            • #8
              How many American bombing missions were aborted............????
              AKA reddevil
              AKA davel a devil

              [COLOR=red'][/COLOR]

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              • #9
                Originally posted by davel@Mar 13 2004, 09:22 PM
                How many American bombing missions were aborted............????
                Good point.

                I also agree with Wang. Australia has been our most staunch ally. More than Canada and more than the UK.
                RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
                You'll never be forgotten.

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                • #10
                  Kudos to the Australians for having the good sense not to blindly follow our "intelligence", and the courage to save probably hundreds of innocent lives.

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                  • #11
                    Good for the Aussies.. They actually use their heads and think for themselves. That was supposed to be one of the strengths of our military. Individual decsions on rules of engagement, especially during the cold war. The Russians were highly criticized for not letting the individual pilots decide.. They (pilots) are the ones there.. Not some intel officier, looking at data. I would have done the same thing if it was in major doubt. But then again, I would have died young in the Nazi or Stalin Russian army.. Meaning I never would have carried out orders to massacre millions..
                    Official Lounge Co-Sponsor of Matty Mo.

                    "Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom. But I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control, and it didn't have any inherent wisdom.." --- Joe Strummer

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