Thursday, July 13, 2017

Probe starts on FA-50 jet missed target

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 13): Probe starts on FA-50 jet missed target

The military on Thursday started its investigation on its latest aircraft, FA-50, that missed its target, resulting to the death of two soldiers, and wounding of 11 others.

Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey, Joint Task Group Ranao commander, said the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would want to know why there was an error.

“The FA-50 jets are designed to this kind of warfare. This was the first accident invoving FA-50 from day one up to know. That's why the leadership from the General Headquarters and the Air Force want to determine the cause,” Rey said.

The military have been using the South Korea-made FA-50 fighter jets to conduct airstrike against the members of the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf bandits holed up in this city’s business district.

On Tuesday, the jet missed its target for about 250 meters.

“The impact of the explosion caused the collapse of nearby structures. Large debris from heavily reinforced buildings accidentally hit two of our personnel who succumbed to death in the process,” Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Task Force Marawi spokesperson, said.

Tuesday’s incident was the second time that soldiers were hit in friendly fire.

The first was on June 1, where 10 soldiers were killed after a Marchetti S-211 plane missed its target.

“The incident is now under investigation to determine the circumstances,” Herrera added.

He said the investigation results of the first incident “have been forwarded to the army, especially to the ground forces.”

Rey said the military is constantly adjusting it tactics depending on the situation of the ground.

“We always look at the safety of the troops,” Rey said, noting that the decision to use airstrike falls on the commanders of the ground if the condition requires it.

“We believed there are lessons learned in this accidents,” Herrera said.

The battle in this city has been raging for six weeks.

The death toll has already reached almost four hundred, with more than 300 terrorists killed.

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