US jets drop unarmed bombs on Great Barrier Reef

Jul 21, 2013
This file photo, released by US Navy, shows an AV-8B Harrier jet preparing to land on the flight deck of an amphibious assault ship. Similar jets dropped four unarmed bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef on July 16, 2013, in an "emergency jettison" during a training exercise, officials said, ruling out any risk to the public or environment.

US fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef in an "emergency jettison" during a training exercise, officials said on Sunday, ruling out any risk to the public or environment.

The US 7th Fleet said two Harrier aircraft dropped the ordnance on the iconic reef's marine park off the Queensland coast on Tuesday.

"The selected emergency jettison area was in a deep channel away from the reef to minimize the possibility of reef damage," the US 7th Fleet said in a statement.

"It is approximately 50 to 60 metres deep and does not pose a hazard to shipping or navigation."

An Australian Defence Force spokesman told Australian Associated Press that the bombs posed "minimal risk or threat to the public, the marine environment or civilian shipping transiting the area".

"Defence is working closely with the US military, the Australian government and environmental organisations to ensure there is no danger... now or in the future," he said.

US and Australian officials are seeking to issue an appropriate navigation notice until charts can be updated showing the location of the unexploded ordnance, the 7th Fleet said.

The two AV-8B Harrier planes had intended to drop the on a range on a nearby island but were unsuccessful despite several attempts.

"After being unable to expend their ordnance during a planning training mission, and having insufficient fuel to reach their pre-designated jettison area, the pilots jettisoned the ordnance in an unarmed condition on July 16," the 7th fleet said.

The fleet said each Harrier jettisoned one BDU 45, which are inert ordnance, and one GBU 12, which were dropped in an unarmed state.

About 28,000 Australian and US military are involved in training exercise Talisman Saber in Queensland, which began on July 15 and ends on August 5.

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User comments : 9

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Neinsense99
1.3 / 5 (12) Jul 21, 2013
No risk to the environment? Not unless you are under the dropping bombs, that is...
geokstr
1.5 / 5 (15) Jul 21, 2013
No risk to the environment? Not unless you are under the dropping bombs, that is...

Yes, it's obvious that the pilots did everything they could to maneuver over a populated city before dropping them, since the US is the most evil nation on the planet, but they just couldn't get there in time. Dang, not even one wheelchaired granny or orphan child killed - the pilots will be reprimanded and tortured for being so ineffective.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (6) Jul 21, 2013
It's common knowledge that Americans wage war and bloodshed, destroying everything in their path with the sole purpose of indebting the conquered nation, acquiring title to precious resources as condition for surrender. Then European troops help rebuild the society decimated by US troops.; Syria the latest example of US importing terrorists re-branded as "freedom fighters". when Americans like Michael Hastings investigate too deeply they are assassinated: His Mercedes exploding with such force the engine block flew 100 feet
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2013
50 to 60 meters deep? Isn't it possible to salvage the bombs instaed of going through all this hassle and have unexploded ordnance lying about that will only grow more fickle with age and updating everybody's sea maps?

There are robotic subs that should be able to handle that if it's to difficut for marine divers (60 meters is to deep for recular SCUBA gear but well within the reach of technical diving)
dav_daddy
1.3 / 5 (12) Jul 21, 2013
50 to 60 meters deep? Isn't it possible to salvage the bombs instaed of going through all this hassle and have unexploded ordnance lying about that will only grow more fickle with age


The BDU45 has no explosive ordinance it's what is known as a "concrete bomb" because that's essentially what it is a slab of concrete shaped like a bomb.

The GBU 12 I'm not familiar with but I'd guess its yield isn't that great besides the fact that if it wasn't armed when dropped there is a near zero chance of detonation.
Neinsense99
1.4 / 5 (10) Jul 21, 2013
No risk to the environment? Not unless you are under the dropping bombs, that is...

Yes, it's obvious that the pilots did everything they could to maneuver over a populated city before dropping them, since the US is the most evil nation on the planet, but they just couldn't get there in time. Dang, not even one wheelchaired granny or orphan child killed - the pilots will be reprimanded and tortured for being so ineffective.

Do you have a superfluous hyperbole quota of some kind?
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (8) Jul 22, 2013
50 to 60 meters deep? Isn't it possible to salvage the bombs instaed of going through all this hassle and have unexploded ordnance lying about that will only grow more fickle with age and updating everybody's sea maps?


Exactly what I was thinking. I hope they're planning to retrieve those bombs later. Given the way the reef has declined in recent years, this is adding insult to injury.
mosahlah
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 22, 2013
It's common knowledge that Americans wage war and bloodshed, destroying everything in their path with the sole purpose of indebting the conquered nation, acquiring title to precious resources as condition for surrender. Then European troops help rebuild the society decimated by US troops.; Syria the latest example of US importing terrorists re-branded as "freedom fighters". when Americans like Michael Hastings investigate too deeply they are assassinated: His Mercedes exploding with such force the engine block flew 100 feet


Wow. It's really hard to retort that without illuminating the fact that you're batshit crazy. I mean, where do I begin? US donates humanitarian aid to Syrian resistance... I feel reduced to mere silliness. At least make an attempt to keep your marbles in so I can counter the lunacy in a respectful manner.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2013
US donates humanitarian aid to Syrian resistance... I feel reduced to mere silliness. At least make an attempt to keep your marbles in so I can counter the lunacy in a respectful manner.
Oh you mean the cannibal terrorists imported from Algeria, now your "freedom fighters?" Your just another zionist furthering Muslim state destabilization efforts. And We have a continent full of educated and literate "batshit crazies" in case you think your puffery parade stands a chance