The Military Accidentally Dropped a 500-Pound Bomb on Its Own Outpost

A military spokesperson said the Army called for the strike, but accidentally gave the pilot the wrong coordinates.

U.S. Marines walk on top of their Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) while on patrol near the American military compound at Kandahar Airport January 16, 2002 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
National Journal
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Jordain Carney
Feb. 18, 2014, 9:27 a.m.

Three sol­diers were nearly killed last year after a U.S. Air Force pi­lot ac­ci­dently dropped a 500-pound bomb on a U.S. in­fantry out­post in Afgh­anistan.

Or, as a U.S. sol­dier summed it up after the bomb: “We al­most fuck­ing died.”

The 2013 at­tack was meant to hit a group of Taliban fight­ers in Afgh­anistan’s Pak­tika Province, in the south­east­ern part of the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to a video pos­ted Tues­day on You­Tube. The foot­age was in­cluded in a doc­u­ment­ary on the U.S. mil­it­ary in Afgh­anistan.

“Luck­ily our First Ser­geant called up and put every­one on stand to, in­ad­vert­ently sav­ing the lives of at least 3 sol­diers who would have been in the bay that had shrapnel sent through every inch of it in­clud­ing shear­ing holes in­to weapons,” the sol­dier that shot the video, who wants to re­main an­onym­ous, told Funker­ in an in­ter­view.

The bomb des­troyed one of the Army’s build­ings at the out­post, with shrapnel mak­ing holes in an­oth­er. No one was killed in the in­cid­ent.

A U.S. Cent­ral Com­mand spokes­per­son said the Army called for the strike, but ac­ci­dent­ally gave the pi­lot the wrong co­ordin­ates, giv­ing the loc­a­tion of the out­post in­stead of the co­ordin­ates for the en­emy forces. 

This art­icle was cor­rec­ted to note it was an Air Force pi­lot who dropped the bomb and up­dated to re­flect new in­form­a­tion from the army on how the pi­lot was giv­en in­ac­cur­ate co­ordin­ates.


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