Transcript of the 'friendly fire' incident video (28 March 2003)

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Transcript of the 'friendly fire' incident  (2003) 
Coalition forces
The 190th Fighter Squadron, Blues and Royals friendly fire incident was a "friendly fire" incident involving two United States Air Force Air National Guard 190th Fighter Squadron attack aircraft and vehicles from the United Kingdom's D Squadron, The Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry and took place on March 28, 2003 during the invasion of Iraq by armed forces of the United States and United Kingdom. The operation was known as Operation Telic in the UK and Operation Iraqi Freedom in the US. Whilst not the only fratricide incident during Operation 3Telic the circumstances around the inquest into the death of one of the British soldiers, Lance-Corporal of Horse Matty Hull led to some media controversy related to the release of video evidence from the attacking aircraft and perceived levels of cooperation into the British inquest into the incident by government agencies of both the United States and United Kingdom.
Audio from the A-10s (5.8MB, help | file info or download)

Lasting just over 15 minutes, video begins just before the A-10 Thunderbolt pilot spots the four vehicles. The local time is 16:36, or 13:36 UTC. The time code in hours, minutes and seconds is from the digital clock on the pilot's display.

View from the A-10 POPOV36
(40MB, 15m 21s, help, file info or download)
Call sign Identity
POPOV 36 First A-10 pilot, view of the camera
POPOV 35 Second A-10 pilot, wingman of POPOV36
MANILA HOTEL US Marine Corps Forward Air Controllers
SKY CHIEF US AWACS controlling the overall air battle
COSTA 58 A British pilot nearby

Time and caller Message
13:36.30 control Manila Hotel POPOV from MANILA HOTEL. Can you confirm you engaged that tube and those vehicles?
13:36.36 pilot POPOV 35 Affirm Sir. Looks like I've got multiple vehicles in advance at about 800 meters to the north of your arty[1] rounds. Can you switch fire, and shift fire, and try to get some arty rounds on those?
13:36.47 control Manila Hotel Roger, I understand that those are the impacts that you observed earlier on my timing?
13:36.51 pilot POPOV 35 Affirmative.
13:36.52 control Manila Hotel Roger, standby. Let me make sure they're not on another mission.
13:36.57 pilot POPOV 36 Hey, I got a four ship. Looks like they've got orange panels on them though. Do we have any friendlies up in this area?
13:37.03 control Manila Hotel I understand that was north 800 metres.
13:37.12 control Manila Hotel POPOV, understand that was north 800 metres?
13:37.16 pilot POPOV 35 Confirm, north 800 metres. Confirm there are no friendlies this far north on the ground.
13:37.21 control Manila Hotel That is an affirm. You are well clear of friendlies.
13:37.25 pilot POPOV 35 Copy. I see multiple riveted vehicles. Some look like flatbed trucks and others are green vehicles. Can't quite make out the type. Look like may be ZIL157s[2].
13:37.36 control Manila Hotel Roger. Matches our Intel up there. And understand you also have the other fixed wing up this push? For terminal control, if you can.
13:37.44 pilot POPOV 35 I'd love to. I didn't talk to him yet.
13:37.46 control Manila Hotel Roger, I believe CASPER is up this push too. Two Super Tomcats.
13:37.54 pilot POPOV 36 Hey dude.
13:37.56 pilot POPOV 36 I got a four ship of vehicles that are evenly spaced along a road going north.
13:38.04 pilot POPOV36 Look down at your right, 2 o'clock, at 10 o'clock low, there is a, uh - left 10 o'clock, look down there, they're heading north along that canal, right there. Coming up just south of the village.
13:38.21 pilot POPOV35 Evenly spaced? Where we strafed?
13:38.23 pilot POPOV36 No. No. Further east - further west, right now. And there's four or five of them right now heading up there.
13:38.29 pilot POPOV35 No, I don't have your visual.
13:38.30 pilot POPOV36 I'm back at your 6 - no factor.
13:38.31 pilot POPOV35 OK, now where's this canal?
13:38.35 pilot POPOV35 Don't hit those F18s that are out there.
13:38.38 pilot POPOV36 OK. Right underneath you. Right now, there's a canal that runs north/south. There's a small little village, and there are vehicles that are spaced evenly there.
13:38.49 pilot POPOV36 They look like they have orange panels on though.
13:38.51 pilot POPOV35 He told me, he told me there's nobody north of here. No friendlies.
13:38.52 pilot POPOV36 I know. They're right on the river.
13:38.53 pilot POPOV35 I see vehicles though, might be our original dudes.
13:39.09 pilot POPOV36 They've got something orange on top of them.
13:39.10 pilot POPOV35 POPOV for MANILA 3, is MANILA 34 in this area?
13:39.14 control Manila Hotel Say again?
13:39.15 pilot POPOV35 MANILA HOTEL, is MANILA 34 in this area?
13:39.19 control Manila Hotel Negative. Understand they are well clear of that now.
13:39.23 pilot POPOV35 OK, copy. Like I said, multiple riveted vehicles. They look like flatbed trucks. Are those your targets?
13:39.30 control Manila Hotel That's affirm.
13:39.31 pilot POPOV35 OK.
13:39.34 pilot POPOV36 Let me ask you one question.
13:39.35 pilot POPOV35 What's that?
13:39.45 pilot POPOV36 [to MANILA HOTEL] Hey, tell me what type of rocket launchers you got up here?
13:39.50 pilot POPOV36 I think they're rocket launchers.
13:39.52 control Manila Hotel ... [garbled] You were stepped on, say again.
13:39.54 pilot POPOV35 MANILA HOTEL, fire your arty up that 800 metres north, and see how we do.
13:40.01 control Manila Hotel Roger, standby for shot. They are getting adjustments to the guns now.
13:40.34 pilot POPOV35 Copy.
13:40.09 pilot POPOV36 Roll up your right wing and look right underneath you.
13:40.12 pilot POPOV35 [angry] I know what you're talking about.
13:40.13 pilot POPOV36 OK, well they got orange rockets on them.
13:40.17 pilot POPOV35 Orange rockets?
13:40.17 pilot POPOV36 Yeah, I think so.
13:40.18 pilot POPOV35 Let me look.
13:40.26 pilot POPOV35 We need to think about getting home.
13:40.29 pilot POPOV36 3.6 is what it says[3].
13:40.31 pilot POPOV35 Yeah, I know. I'm talking time wise.
13:40.35 pilot POPOV36 I think killing these damn rocket launchers, it would be great.
[The tape then becomes garbled]
13:40.52 control Manila Hotel Yeah, POPOV36, MANILA HOTEL. I've got other aircraft up this push. Not sure they're coming to me. Someone else might be working this freq.
13:41.00 pilot POPOV35 Yeah, MANILA34 is working them, break, break.
13:40.12 pilot POPOV36 Yeah, I see that, you see I'm going to roll down.
13:40.15 control Manila 34 Break, be advised MANILA3-4 is not working the F18s unless they are trying to check in with me, over.
13:41.21 pilot POPOV35 Copy.
13:41.24 pilot POPOV36 OK, do you see the orange things on top of them?
13:41.32 control Manila Hotel POPOV 36 from MANILA HOTEL. Are you able to switch to Crimson?
13:41.37 pilot POPOV36 POPOV 36 is rolling in.
13:41.40 control Manila Hotel Tell you what.
13:41.41 pilot POPOV35 I'm coming off west. You roll in. It looks like they are exactly what we're talking about.
13:41.49 pilot POPOV36 We got visual.
13:41.50 pilot POPOV36 OK. I want to get that first one before he gets into town then.
13:41.53 pilot POPOV35 Get him - get him.
13:41.55 pilot POPOV36 All right, we got rocket launchers, it looks like. Number 2 is rolling in from the south to the north, and 2's in.
13:42.04 pilot POPOV35 Get it.
POPOV36 "rolls in" for an attack and turns his A-10 into a vertical dive to strafe the British column, destroying two Scimitar armored vehicles and killing L/Cpl of Horse Matty Hull.
13:42.09 - GUNFIRE -
13:42.18 pilot POPOV35 I'm off your west.
13:42.22 pilot POPOV35 Good hits.
13:42.29 pilot POPOV36 Got a visual.
13:42.30 pilot POPOV35 I got a visual. You're at your high 10.
13:42.31 pilot POPOV36 Gotcha.
13:42.30 pilot POPOV36 That's what you think they are, right?
13:42.39 pilot POPOV35 It looks like it to me, and I got my goggles on them now.
13:42.59 pilot POPOV35 OK, I'm looking at getting down low at this.
13:43.13 control Manila Hotel POPOV 36 from MANILA HOTEL, guns . . .
13:43.17 control Manila Hotel To engage those targets in the revetts[4].
13:43.24 pilot POPOV36 It looks like he is hauling ass. Ha ha. Is that what you think they are?
13:43.34 pilot POPOV36 1-2
13:43.35 pilot POPOV35 It doesn't look friendly.
13:43.38 pilot POPOV36 OK, I'm in again from the south.
13:43.40 pilot POPOV35 Ok.
13:43.47 - GUNFIRE -
13:43.54 control Lightning34 POPOV 34, LIGHTNING 34.
13:44.09 pilot POPOV35 POPOV 35, LIGHTNING 34 GO.
13:44.12 control Lightning34 Roger, POPOV. Be advised that in the 3122 and 3222 group box you have friendly armor in the area. Yellow, small armored tanks. Just be advised.
13:44.16 pilot POPOV35 Ahh shit.
13:44.19 pilot POPOV35 Got a - got a smoke.
13:44.21 control Lightning34 Hey, POPOV34, abort your mission. You got a, looks we might have a blue on blue situation.
13:44.25 pilot POPOV35 Fuck. God bless it.
13:44.36 control Manila 34 POPOV 34.
13:44.35 pilot POPOV35 Fuck, fuck, fuck.
13:44.36 control Manila 34 POPOV34, this is MANILA 34. Did you copy my last, over?
13:44.39 pilot POPOV35 I did.
13:44.36 control Manila 34 Confirm those are friendlies on that side of the canal.
13:44.51 pilot POPOV35 Shit.
13:44.58 control Manila 34 Standby POPOV.
13:45.04 pilot POPOV36 God dammit.
13:44.14 control Manila Hotel Hey POPOV 36, from MANILA HOTEL.
13:44.25 control Manila 34 OK POPOV. Just west of the 3-4 easting. On the berm up there, the 3422 area is where we have our friendlies, over.
13:44.39 pilot POPOV35 All right, POPOV 35 has smoke. Let me know how those friendlies are right now, please.
13:44.45 control Manila 34 Roger, standby.
13:44.49 pilot POPOV35 Gotta go home dude.
13:44.50 pilot POPOV36 Yeah, I know. We're fucked.
13:45.54 pilot POPOV35 Shit.
13:46.01 pilot POPOV36 As you cross the circle, you are 3 o'clock low.
13:46.03 pilot POPOV35 Roger.
13:46.12 pilot POPOV35 POPOV 35 is Bingo. Let us know what's happening.
13:46.15 control Manila Hotel Roger. We are getting that information for you right now. Standby.
13:46.20 pilot POPOV36 Fuck.
13:46.47 control Manila 34 POPOV, this is MANILA 34 over.
13:46.51 pilot POPOV35 Go.
13:46.55 control Manila 34 POPOV 4, MANILA 34 over.
13:47.01 pilot POPOV35 Roger 3-4, go for POPOV.
13:47.02 control Manila 34 We are getting an initial brief that there was one killed and one wounded, over.
13:47.09 pilot POPOV35 Copy. RTB[5].
13:47.18 pilot POPOV35 I'm going to be sick.
13:47.24 pilot POPOV36 Ah fuck.
13:47.48 pilot POPOV35 Did you hear?
13:47.51 pilot POPOV36 Yeah, this sucks.
13:47.52 pilot POPOV35 We're in jail dude.
13:47.59 pilot POPOV36 Aaaahhhh!
13:48.12 AWAC Sky Chief MANILA this is SKY CHIEF over.
13:48.18 control Manila 34 This is MANILA 34, send SKY CHIEF.
13:48.22 British pilot Costa58 SKY CHIEF, SKY CHIEF. COSTA 58.
13:48.25 control Manila Hotel SKY CHIEF, this is MANILA HOTEL.
13:48.30 British pilot Costa58 SKY CHIEF, SKY CHIEF. COSTA 58.
13:48.41 AWAC Sky Chief Relaying for TWINACT, the A-10s are running on friendlies.
13:48.47 British pilot Costa58 POPOV 35, this is COSTA58. Relaying message for TWINACT. Abort, abort.
13:48.54 AWAC Sky Chief MANILA how copy A-10s are running on friendlies. Abort. Over.
13:49.07 British pilot Costa58 From TWINACT, abort, abort.
13:49.11 pilot POPOV35 POPOV 35 aborting.
13:49.14 British pilot Costa58 We will relay that back to TWINACT.
13:49.18 pilot POPOV36 Fuck. God fucking—shit.
13:50.21 pilot POPOV36 Dammit. Fucking damn it.
13:51.17 pilot POPOV36 God dammit. Fuck me dead [weeping].
13:51.25 pilot POPOV35 You with me?
13:51.27 pilot POPOV36 Yeah.
13:51.30 pilot POPOV35 They did say there were no friendlies.
13:51.33 pilot POPOV36 Yeah, I know that thing with the orange panels is going to screw us. They look like orange rockets on top.
13:51.48 pilot POPOV35 Your tape still on?
13:51.49 pilot POPOV36 Yeah.
13:51.54 pilot POPOV35 Mine is end of tape.
  1. [artillery]
  2. [Russian made trucks used by Iraqi army]
  3. [a fuel measurement]
  4. [slopes]
  5. [returning to base]
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).