Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Air Force Justice?

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Air Force Justice?

Article excerpt

Of all the people involved in the accidental downing of two Army Blackhawk helicopters by two U.S. fighter jets, which killed 26 people, the Air Force is prosecuting only one. This selective prosecution opens the military to accusations that it is not dealing with the truth of a major military blunder.

Capt. Jim Wang was the weapons controller aboard the airborne warning and control system (AWACS) plane on April 14, 1994, when two F-15 pilots concluded that the Blackhawks were Iraqi Soviet-made Hind helicopters. Capt. Wang's job was to assure the fighter pilots that any unknown aircraft in the no-fly zone in northern Iraq were not friendly.

Though Capt. Wang may have made errors, it looks like scapegoating for the Air Force to single him out for prosecution in a court martial on three counts of dereliction of duty. In the culture of the Air Force, men and women who are, in effect, in the rear are not valued as highly as fighter pilots, the princes of this particular service. …

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