In the news...

July 22, 2013

U.S. drops unarmed bombs on Great Barrier Reef

Rod McGuirk
Associated Press

Two American fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last week when a training exercise went wrong, the U.S. Navy said, angering environmentalists.

The two AV-8B Harrier jets launched from aircraft carrier USS Bonhomme Richard each jettisoned an inert practice bomb and an unarmed laser-guided explosive bomb into the World Heritage-listed marine park off the coast of Queensland state on Tuesday, the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement Saturday.

The four bombs, weighing a total 1.8 metric tons (4,000 pounds), were dropped into more than 50 meters (164 feet) of water away from coral to minimize possible damage to the reef, the statement said. None exploded.

The jets from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit had intended to drop the ordnances on the Townshend Island bombing range, but aborted the mission when controllers reported the area was not clear of hazards.

The pilots conducted the emergency jettison because they were low on fuel and could not land with their bomb load, the Navy said.

The emergency happened on the second day of the biennial joint training exercise Talisman Saber, which brings together 28,000 U.S. and Australian military personnel over three weeks.

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were working with Australian authorities to investigate the incident, the Navy said.

A 7th Fleet spokesman did not immediately respond on Sunday when asked by email whether the dumping posed any environmental risk.

Australian Sen. Larissa Waters, the influential Greens party’s spokeswoman on the Great Barrier Reef, described the dumping of bombs in such an environmentally sensitive area as “outrageous” and said it should not be allowed.

Have we gone completely mad?î she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. ìIs this how we look after our World Heritage area now? Letting a foreign power drop bombs on it?

Graeme Dunstan, who is among the environmentalists and anti-war activists demonstrating against the joint exercises, said the mishap proved that the U.S. military could not be trusted to protect the environment.

ìHow can they protect the environment and bomb the reef at the same time? Get real, Dunstan said from the Queensland coastal town of Yeppoon, near where the war games are taking place.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest network of coral structures, is rich in marine life and stretches more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) along Australia’s northeast coast.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 27, 2015

News: U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria – Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against...
 
 

Headlines July 24, 2015

News: Turkey bombs Islamic State targets in Syria – Turkish planes have for the first time carried out air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria. Turkey to allow airstrikes against ISIS from Incirlik – Turkey will allow the U.S. to strike Islamic State group targets from Incirlik Air Base, according to multiple reports....
 
 

News Briefs July 24, 2015

Officials: Progress made cleaning up massive jet fuel spill State and federal officials are becoming increasingly confident they’ll be able to clean up a massive plume of jet fuel at the edge of Albuquerque, N.M., before it reaches drinking water wells. Kirtland Air Force Base and state environment officials will be updating the public on...
 

 

Headlines July 22, 2015

News: Pentagon confirms drone crashed in Iraq – A Pentagon spokesman said the aircraft was returning from an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission when “technical complications” caused a loss of communication with the aircraft July 16.   Business: Boeing faces eight-month delay on $3 billion tanker contracts – Boeing may have to wait an extra eight...
 
 

News Briefs July 22, 2015

U.S. Navy commander stresses positives in China relationship The Navy’s new commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet sounded a conciliatory note toward China July 21 during the last stop of a three-country Asian tour. “We have much more in common than we do in competition,” Adm. Scott Swift told reporters in Tokyo. He added, though,...
 
 

Headlines July 20, 2015

News: Lockheed to buy United Tech’s Sikorsky for over $8 billion – source – Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. weapons maker, has agreed to buy United Technologies Corp’s Sikorsky Aircraft unit, the maker of Black Hawk helicopters, for over $8 billion, a source familiar with the negotiations said July 19.   Business: Super Tucano, Embraer soaring...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>