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Newspaper's Release of 'Friendly Fire' Video Disturbs Pilots

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newspaper's Release of 'Friendly Fire' Video Disturbs Pilots

Article excerpt

Two Air National Guard pilots involved in a 2003 friendly fire case in Iraq that killed a British soldier are troubled every day by images from that desert mission, said a general who oversees their fighter wing.

"There's not a day goes by that the pilots involved in this particular instance don't think about this, and that's something that they will live with and deal with the rest of their lives," Brig. Gen. Gary L. Sayler, deputy commanding general for the Idaho National Guard's aircraft operations, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The U.S. military has not released the names of the A-10 pilots from the 190th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron involved in the event that resulted in the death of Lance Cpl. Matty Hull.

Hull was killed when at least one U.S. jet fired on his convoy in the southern Iraq city of Basra.

The case has jumped back into the international spotlight because of an ongoing British probe of Hull's death.

Although a British tabloid has published the name of one of the two men, Sayler, Idaho National Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Stephanie Dowling and other U.S. officials will not confirm the pilot's identity.

In a 20-minute interview at the Idaho Air National Guard's home at Gowen Field in Boise, Sayler said the men involved have temporarily moved their families from their homes, in an attempt to skirt intense media scrutiny since excerpts of a leaked combat video of the botched mission were published in the British newspaper The Sun on Tuesday. …

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