Sierra Daily: July 2013

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1 posts from July 2013

Jul 24, 2013

Bombs A—WAIT!

Great Barrier ReefIn what might be the most surprise attack in world history, two U.S. fighter jets dropped four bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site, on July 16. The jets were taking part in a drill prior to Talisman Saber, a biennial joint training exercise with the Australian Defense Force intended improve "measures to defend Australia and its national interests."

The unarmed ordnance — two bombs contained concrete and two contained explosives but didn't have their fusing mechanism in place — were supposed to be jettisoned over the Townshend Island bombing range, almost 450 miles north of Brisbane. But, U.S. Navy Commander William Marks told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "the approved area where they could do some of this live training with these 500-pound bombs . . . was not safe. There were civilian boats right below them."

Further complicating matters, the two AV-8B Harrier jets were running low on fuel (for reasons that are being investigated), and they couldn't make a safe landing on their amphibious assault ship while still carrying the bombs. So, what's a poor pilot to do?

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