Friendly Fire Investigation Launched over Rangers’ Deaths
The Army has launched a friendly fire investigation (known as a 15-6) into the deaths of Sgt Joshua Rodgers and Sgt Cameron Thomas, the Rangers who died during a raid to capture an ISIS-K leader on Wednesday. But members of their unit are calling b.s. on the idea.
Exclusive: Rangers say Pentagon’s claim of ‘friendly fire’ as possibility in two deaths in Afghanistan is bullshit https://t.co/2MyJ8cqwMv
— Jared Keller (@jaredbkeller) April 28, 2017
According to the Army, the firefight in which the two Rangers died was 3 hours long. They are trying to determine whether errant bullets from either Afghan soldiers or American ones were responsible for the deaths. They have reportedly ruled out “green on blue” attacks, which are Afghan operators killing American soldiers.
“There was no friendly fire. They were killed while engaged with enemy fighters in direct combat. We took casualties. We killed a bunch of dudes.” Service member to Task and Purpose
“Friendly Fire” incidents are reported as rare. During a firefight, when bullets are flying from every direction, anything can happen. But at least 12 service members contacted the Task and Purpose website to state that the two Rangers were killed by ISIS militants, not friendly fire.
According to the Army Times, there were approximately 100 Rangers and Afghan commandos, plus AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, F-16 fighters and drones..three hours worth of shooting from all of that plus the enemy.
Death Benefits and Friendly Fire
A friendly fire investigation can throw a kink into death benefits for military survivors. Instead of a death during military action, it ends up regarded as an “accident” and benefits can be suspended until completion of the investigation.
Though charges of involuntary manslaughter or others are sometimes brought against those who commit the friendly fire incident, the very mention that deaths are caused by something other than direct combat with the enemy can cause more problems for already grieving family members.
Who shot who ends up as the focus…and what kind of bullets in the bodies of the fallen become the critical issue.
It is hoped that this investigation will move swiftly, and no impediments to the benefits for survivors occur.