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 7, 2015

News: F-35 loses dogfight to fighter jet from 1980s – A new report alleges that an F-35A was defeated by the very aircraft it is meant to replace.   Business: South Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 billion tanker contract – European aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal June 30 to supply air refueling...
 
 

Headlines June 29, 2015

News: SpaceX Falcon 9 explodes moments after launch – A SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station blew up June 28 shortly after liftoff.   Business: How serious a setback is SpaceX rocket explosion? – Elon Musk had never come face to face with that rule before — at least not in space travel —...
 
 

News Briefs June 29, 2015

Iraqi pilot in Arizona plane crash found dead Officials say the body of an Iraqi pilot who had been training in the United States and crashed in southern Arizona has been located. Iraq’s Defense Ministry said June 26 that search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site five...
 

 

Headlines June 26, 2015

Business: A look inside Lockheed Martin’s space-age operations – At Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, we have the privilege of working for ambitious customers; their plans include missions to Mars, examinations of asteroids, and scientific explorations that push ever deeper into the solar system. Canada does not have right weapons to help Ukraine, defense minister...
 
 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

NATO plans follow-up Afghan presence after Resolute Support NATO defense ministers are reassuring Afghanistan’s government that it can count on the alliance’s continued help after its military training and support mission, called Resolute Support, ends. Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said June 25 that ministers committed their governments to maintaining “a civilian-le...
 
 

Headlines June 24, 2015

News: Pentagon placing gear in Eastern Europe – The Pentagon will place approximately 250 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers throughout six countries that are close to Russia, the department announced June 23.   Business: U.S. Air Force wants improved day-night F-22 Raptor helmet by 2020 – A long-running effort to provide F-22 Raptor...
 




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>