Tech, training lower friendly fire deaths

first_img For example, a small, thumbprint-size square of reflective material is embedded into the upper portion of soldiers’ sleeves and allows others to identify them as U.S. troops. Army officials say today’s more lethal weapons, difficult battlefields and rapid-paced engagements are most often the cause of friendly fire deaths. The rate of friendly fire deaths for all U.S. troops in World War II was 12-14 percent; Vietnam, 10-14 percent; Grenada, 13 percent; and Panama, 6 percent. CASUALTY UPDATE As of Saturday, at least 2,306 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 1,807 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers. The AP count is two lower as the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EST. The British military has reported 103 deaths; Italy, 27; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 17; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Slovakia, three; Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, one death each. – Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – The rate of friendly fire deaths for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is substantially lower than in other major military conflicts, a decline that Army officials attribute to better training and high-tech equipment. Over the past four years, 17 soldiers have died in friendly fire incidents such as the one that killed former professional football player Pat Tillman, according to Army data. The 17 soldiers felled by friendly fire incidents are about 1 percent of the 1,575 soldiers who have died overall. More than 2,500 troops from all services have died in the two conflicts. The 1 percent rate is well below that of Operation Desert Storm when 17 percent of all service members who died were killed by friendly fire. Rates for World War II, Vietnam and the invasions of Grenada and Panama were also higher than the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant So far, the 2004 death of Tillman, an Army Ranger and corporal, during a firefight near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border has been the only one in the war to trigger a formal criminal investigation. Army officials said its Criminal Investigation Command has reviewed other incidents, and there have been some reprimands or administrative punishments handed out. Officials said they could not provide details on those reprimands, including how many there have been. Of the 17 deaths caused by U.S. or other coalition allies, 10 were in Iraq and seven in Afghanistan. They occurred in 11 separate incidents. The information the Army provided Friday consisted of numbers, not names of those killed or details of the incidents. Identities of the victims of friendly fire have been previously reported. Pentagon spokesman Paul Boyce said friendly fire deaths have declined due to increased training, better leadership and new technology that makes it easier to identify forces. last_img

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