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Leaked video shows reaction to friendly-fire death

Leaked video shows reaction to friendly-fire death

first_imgLONDON – A leaked cockpit video published Tuesday captures a dramatic exchange between two American pilots whose voices choke up when they learn they have killed a British soldier in Iraq. “I’m going to be sick,” one pilot says, later adding “we’re in jail, dude.” Ever since the friendly-fire incident nearly four years ago, the Pentagon has said the video was classified. That meant the footage could not be presented in open court during a British inquest into the death of Lance Cpl. Matty Hull, who was killed when at least one U.S. jet fired on his convoy in the southern city of Basra. But after excerpts of the video were published in The Sun newspaper and the footage was widely broadcast, U.S. authorities agreed to release it for the inquest. Neither pilot from the Boise, Idaho-based 190th Fighter Squadron was disciplined in the U.S. military’s own investigation, which concluded the pilots “followed the procedures and processes for engaging targets,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Tuesday. The leaking of the tape strained relations between the Department of Defense and their British counterparts, who were previously given a DVD of the classified video. The dramatic cockpit video and recording begins with two pilots identifying a target and checking with ground control that there are no coalition troops in the area – to which ground control says, “That is an affirm. You are well clear of friendlies,” according to the transcript released by The Sun. Tempers flare between the two pilots, with one saying it looks like the prospective targets are carrying orange rockets. Coalition troops are often equipped with bright orange markers to identify them as friendly forces. “I know what you’re talking about!” the first pilot says, after asking about the location of the prospective targets. “OK, well they got orange rockets on them,” the second pilot says. “Orange rockets?” the first pilot asks again, telling the other pilot they need to get back to base soon. “I think killing these damn rocket launchers, it would be great,” the second pilot says. At least one of the U.S. A-10 jets opened fire on Hull’s tank, which was part of a five-vehicle convoy engaged in combat outside Basra on March 28, 2003. Four other soldiers were wounded, including the convoy’s leader, Capt. Alexander MacEwen. Gunfire is heard. Minutes later they learn there are friendly forces in the area and that one person is dead and another is wounded. Pilot 1: “I’m going to be sick.” Pilot 2: “Ah f—.” Pilot 1: “Did you hear?” Pilot 2: “Yeah, this sucks.” Pilot 1: “We’re in jail, dude.” The pilots communicate with ground control again. “They did say there were no friendlies,” the first pilot says. “Yeah, I know that thing with the orange panels is going to screw us. They look like orange rockets on top,” the second pilot says. The first pilot then asks if his tape is still on. Seconds later, there is silence. A publicly releasable version of the U.S. investigation report – which found the pilots followed procedures and practices for engaging targets – was given to the British Defense Ministry in November 2003, said Lt. Col. Teresa Connor, a spokeswoman at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida. It was unclear why neither the Defense Ministry nor U.S. authorities released the findings. On Tuesday, after the leaking of the tape, Connor said Central Command authorized Britain to display the video to the coroner and family in the presence of the Defense Ministry. It is up to the ministry to decide whether and when to do so, she said. The U.S. military has no plan to release the names of the pilot or their unit, Connor said. The U.S. Embassy’s deputy chief of mission, David Johnson, said he thought the coroner had already viewed the video. “Our focus is really on finding out where our procedures fell down and allowed information that was classified to be provided to individuals who did not have appropriate access to it,” Johnson told the AP, saying that U.S. and British exchanges had been “military to military.” Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker is hearing the inquest, which resumes Feb. 16. British coroners tasked with inquests into suspicious deaths have become increasingly critical of military errors. One coroner last year criticized American authorities for failing to provide access and name U.S. Marines involved in the death of British television journalist Terry Lloyd, shot in Iraq in March 2003. Johnson said the British inquests were “unique.” “It’s a very delicate situation in looking at this issue in the context of domestic law when what has happened has occurred on the battlefield,” he said. He said the video humanized the tragedy on both sides but that nothing could compare to the family’s loss. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington that he had read the transcript of the incident. “My reaction is that these people immediately understood that it was a terrible, terrible mistake, and they felt immediate remorse of what happened.” Susan Hull, Hull’s widow, welcomed the release of video, saying it was “vital evidence and must be shown” at the inquest. “The inquest is my one and only chance to hear how and why Matty died,” she said in a statement released by her lawyers. “I would have preferred to hear the evidence from the U.S. pilots themselves. However, they cannot be compelled to come and they have not come voluntarily. The video is therefore vital evidence and must be shown. I do not relish hearing it in open court, but after years of being told that it did not exist or was secret I feel that it was right not to give up hope.” Previously, the Defense Ministry had said it was unable to persuade the U.S. to declassify the footage – a recording British authorities initially claimed did not exist. Britain’s defense secretary, Des Browne, welcomed the U.S. release of the video. “The release of classified information, even for the closest of allies, is never straightforward, but this is the right thing to do,” he said. Former U.S intelligence officer Bob Ayers, now a security analyst based in London, said pilots in fluid combat situations often do not have real-time intelligence and logistics information. “This was happening during the mad rush toward Baghdad,” Ayers said. “You have planes that are going 300 mph and by the time they get coordinates, they’re five to 10 miles off the mark.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

How SITA Director Vincent Kennedy developed leadership potential at LYIT

How SITA Director Vincent Kennedy developed leadership potential at LYIT

first_img‘This course changed the way I think’ – says SITA Senior Manager Vincent Kennedy after completing the Executive Master of Business in Innovation & Leadership at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.Vincent is the Director of Software Development at SITA in Letterkenny, and the company lead in Ireland.With a team of approx 130 people to manage, Vincent enrolled in the highly-regarded MBS at LYIT to gain specialist leadership knowledge. This two-year part-time programme is focused on equipping people in senior business roles with the skills to make an impact in their organisations and become champions for change. Participants are senior and middle managers from across a diverse range of organisations, multinational and indigenous SMEs, who put their studies into practice in their workplace through action learning.Some of the most valuable skills Vincent gained was how to understand other people’s motivations, he said: “Through the MBS course there are many skills that can be learned and developed. However, one of the areas that resonated with me most, is the area of Emotional Intelligence. Understanding the individuals and teams we work with, their expectations, needs and perspectives is important as a leader, especially in times of uncertainty.”Vincent Kennedy, (SITA) – Donegal ICT/FinTech Working Group Chairperson.Progression, innovative thinking and advancement are at the heart of the programme, which Vincent said was an eye-opening experience: “This course changed the way I think in many aspects of my working life. It has really helped me develop my business acumen and opened my mind to new ideas and techniques when leading teams.”Originally from Inver, Vincent now lives in Donegal Town with his wife and two young children. Balancing a busy work and family life with his studies was surprisingly easy thanks to the flexibility of the Masters course and the fact that Letterkenny isn’t a long journey away. “LYIT were very accommodating and supportive to me. In the end I found the learning experience throughout the MBS course actually helped me manage my workload better. LYIT showed great flexibility with timelines and other work challenges like business travel etc.,” Vincent said.LYIT Master of Business Innovation & LeadershipVincent found that the programme had many rewarding aspects, “but working closely together as a student group and supporting each other was very rewarding. I have made some really good friends through the MBS.”Since graduating, Vincent seized the opportunities his studies have presented and moved to a new role in SITA. For people looking to develop their own leadership potential, he said: “I believe the quality of the course is right up there with the best. From the module content, the guest speakers and the people you study with, the entire experience was excellent.”If you wish to apply for the Executive Master of Business in Innovation & Leadership please visit https://www.lyit.ie/CourseDetails/D401/LY_BINOL_M/Innovation&Leadership/ for further information. For further information please contact Patricia [email protected], Head of Department of Business Studies, or [email protected], Programme Administrator, School of Business, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, 00353(0)74 9186210How SITA Director Vincent Kennedy developed leadership potential at LYIT was last modified: December 20th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:LYITLYIT Master of Business Innovation & LeadershipManagementSITAVincent Kennedylast_img read more

Singapore, Air France-KLM ink codeshare deal

Singapore, Air France-KLM ink codeshare deal

first_imgSingapore Airlines and regional offshoot SilkAir will codeshare with Air France-KLM across a range of destinations from April 27.The move will see the SQ designator added to Air France flights to 10 destinations in continental Europe and the UK while Air France will add its codes to flights operated to Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and SilkAir flights to Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Thailand’s Phuket.The 10 UK and European destinations to see the SQ code are Aberdeen, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Marseille, Newcastle, Nice and Toulouse.The airlines said they will look at the expanding the codeshare, which would provide customers more options and better connectivity, at a later date.They will also look at a reciprocal “earn and burn” opportunity for their KrisFlyer and Flying Blue frequent flyer members. Singapore is a member of Star Alliance and Air France-KLM belongs to the SkyTeam group so frequent flyer reciprocity is not automatic.Singapore Airlines vice president marketing and planning Tan Kai Ping said the deal would offer significant benefits to customers through enhanced connections and increased codeshare destinations.“In addition, this new agreement provides a strong foundation for future commercial co-operation opportunities between our two airline groups,’’ Tan said in a statement. “It is also another example of our commitment to the Singapore hub and the European market.”Air France-KLM group senior vice president alliances Patrick Roux said the move would significantly improve connections for Air France customers from Singapore to Australia.“This kind of partnership is part of our aim to expand our market position and increase our range of destinations for our customers all around the world,” he said.Only one European carrier, British Airways, currently flies its own planes to Australia.last_img read more