Raw combat footage from Paktika Province, Afghanistan shows a US Army mortar team getting a 500-pound bomb dropped on their position from their own airstrike.
The video was posted by Funker530, an online veterans community and combat footage archive.
“After spotting Taliban forces on a distant ridge line, U.S. Army mortar teams engage with 60mm mortars. A simultaneous airstrike is called in which accidentally drops a 500 pound bomb on a US Army infantry outpost, mistaking the position for Taliban fighters,” Funker wrote in the video’s description.
Filmed by a soldier with a helmet mounted camera, the first words heard in the video come in over the radio, as a voice confirms an strike coming in 30 seconds. However, just 10 seconds later a hard blast knocks the cameraman off his feet.
The bomb had struck the hillside just beyond the infantry post. Wasting no time, the soldier collected himself and made a quick pass around the post to make sure no one was injured.
From the upper level of the post, the soldier spots the damage done, and helps his fellow soldier down to make an assessment.
Then, the video cuts to another angle showing the bomb blast from the bottom of the hill. There is a clear sense of panic after the explosion. “That was the bird that dropped that” one of the men remarks incredulously, referring to either a US or NATO plane responsible for dropping the bomb.
Fortunately, not a single injury or death resulted from this grave mistake. The caution of a First Sergeant in the company may have averted a true disaster.
“If it wasn’t for the decision of our First Sergeant, three of our guys would have died in that wooden building which was shredded by shrapnel,” Funker350 quotes a witness to the bombing as saying.
Here’s the video:
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