NO CHARGES ONFRIENDLY FIRE DEATHS; Three killed after 'terrible error'.Byline: BY CHRIS HUGHES SECURITY CORRESPONDENT
A UK soldier alleged to have caused the Friendly Fire deaths of three comrades will not face charges.
Two other UK troops were seriously injured by the 500lb bomb dropped on their position instead of on Taliban attackers.
The Air Controller in question, a senior NCO, gave instructions to the pilot but did not make sure he had the right grid reference.
The air-strike on August 23 last year was called after members of B Company, 1 Royal Anglian Regiment The Royal Anglian Regiment (R ANGLIAN) is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Queen's Division.
The regiment was formed in 1964 as one of the new large infantry regiments, through the amalgamation of the four regiments of the East Anglian Brigade. came under attack in the Mazdurak area of Helmand, Afghanistan.
Two US F15 jets were called to bomb the Taliban.
Instead Privates Aaron McClure, Robert Foster, both 19, and John Thrumble, 21, of B Company were killed instantly. Two soldiers suffered serious injuries but survived.
A case against the SNCO was referred to the Army Prosecuting Authority The Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) is an agency of the British Ministry of Defence. It was created as an independent body by the Armed Forces Act 1996 on 1 April 1997 and has branches in the United Kingdom and in British Forces Germany (BFG). . Last night the APA (All Points Addressable) Refers to an array (bitmapped screen, matrix, etc.) in which all bits or cells can be individually manipulated.
APA - Application Portability Architecture said: "After careful consideration the APA has concluded there is no realistic prospect of conviction on any charge."
Col Richard Kemp - former Commander of UK Forces in Afghanistan - said: "Although it appears the Joint Tactical Air Controller The officer in charge of all operations of the tactical air control center. He is responsible to the tactical air commander for the control of all aircraft and air warning facilities within his area of responsibility. See also air controller. made a terrible error I am sure it is right he doesn't face prosecution. This man was fighting shoulder to shoulder with Ptes Thrumble, McLure and Foster who were in a desperate struggle with the enemy.
These men were under heavy enemy fire and in the confusion and heat of battle errors occur, no matter how hard we try to avoid them."
DEATH BLAST Privates McClure, Foster and Thrumble