Safety is universal.....Fatality in Iraq


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hillbilly
July 24, 2004, 12:42 PM
Got the following from a friend of mine in Iraq until March or April.

He's a captain with the 39th infantry and his job is to train the Iraqi National Guard.

hillbilly



We had an unfortunate incident here the other day. I was called to one of our traffic checkpoints to investigate a shooting involving one of our ING soldiers; unfortunately, the whole thing was accidental and resulted in the death of a civilian motorist.

When I got to the checkpoint, we started interviewing witnesses, trying to get a clear understanding of what happened. Usually, that's hard enough to do when you're dealing with Americans, but once you factor in the language barrier and an interpreter of questionable skills, you begin to have a recipe for one huge tension headache. After talking to the witnesses and not getting any kind of clear picture of what happened (one person said there was one shot, another said four, another said he wasn't sure if the shots came from in front of or behind the vehicle, etc.) we lined up the two vehicles involved (one ING, the other civilian) and ran a long rod through the bullet hole in the second one. From that, we determined that there was a definite downward angle to the bullet's trajectory, which meant the single shot came from the weapon mounted in the back of the ING pickup. Once the gunner was confronted with that evidence, he confessed.

Basically, the whole thing was a result of negligent weapon handling: a round in the chamber, the safety off, and a finger on the trigger, rolling down a pot-holed highway. The pickup hit a bump, the gunner fell forward and pulled the trigger, and one man wound up dead. The worst thing about the event was that my cadre and I have preached weapons safety since day one of this job, and many of the ING just don't get it. I can't tell you the number of times I've been on patrol with the ING and found myself looking down the barrel of one of our own AK-47s. Maybe, just maybe, they'll realize what it is they're doing from now on.

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scout26
July 24, 2004, 08:47 PM
AAAO !!!! (1/39 used to part of 2nd BDE, 8ID when I was stationed in Baumholder).

Yep, teaching the Four Rules with the language barrier can't be easy, and it is truly sad to read this. But these guys are doing the heavy lifting required to move that country forward.


I had a similiar incident happen when I was in the army. (fortunately it was with blanks). Gun jeeps doing a convoy escort during REFORGER. Gunner, standing up in back holding on to gun, convoy goes around sharp corner, centrifigual force causes gunner to pull trigger (because he has violated rule 3), cranking off about 10 rounds. Needless to say, as Platoon Leader I ended up apologizing to every LN who happened to be in the area, the burgermeister, town council and durn near every civil servant in the kreis.

It was kinda funny though, to watch them scatter.

The gunner went from PFC to PV1.

After the BN CDR was done chewing on my butt, I got a small part of back.

JohnKSa
July 24, 2004, 10:02 PM
found myself looking down the barrel of one of our own AK-47s. Maybe, just maybe, they'll realize what it is they're doing from now on.I doubt it... What happened to the shooter?

hillbilly
July 25, 2004, 02:28 PM
As far as what happened to the shooter, here's what my buddy emailed me this morning after I asked the same thing.



Legally, I'm not sure what's going to happen. Ever since these people have become "sovereign" they are supposed to handle stuff like this on their own. Which means corruption, bribery, and business as usual reign supreme. I already heard that the family of the shooter offered the ING investigating officer 100,000 dinars to pin it on someone else. The next day, he came to me saying his investigation was inconclusive. I told him that was too bad, because I had a confession from the guy. Seems the family came up with the bribe AFTER the guy confessed to me. Ooops.

What I'd like to do with the moron is beat him to a bloody pulp and hang him inside a cage in the middle of the compound with a sign that reads: "This is what happens when you don't practice safety the way the Americans tell you to!"

But that would probably make CNN.

JohnKSa
July 25, 2004, 06:32 PM
already heard that the family of the shooter offered the ING investigating officer 100,000 dinars to pin it on someone else.That's pretty much what I figured and that's why I asked. Nobody learned anything except that it's good to be rich...

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