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‘Crazy Horse 18’

Just to refresh one’s memory I’ve re-posted that gruesome video originally released back in April, 2010 by Wikileaks. In the latest Wikileaks dump it’s abundantly clear that wasn’t the only ‘incident’ Crazy Horse 18 was involved in that made the headlines…!

As Al Jazeera’s Gregg Carlstrom reports…

‘Crazy Horse’ and collateral damage

Helicopter squadron that killed two Reuters journalists in 2007 was involved in other attacks that hurt civilians.

…For reasons that are unclear, the leaked documents do not include any account of that raid. But "Crazy Horse 18" – either the same pilot, or a pilot from the same squadron – is involved in several other incidents that result in collateral damage or show an excessive use of force.

In perhaps the most egregious, the helicopter pursues and kills two militants riding in a truck who were allegedly carrying a tripod and tube used to launch mortars. The helicopter opened fire on the truck with its 30mm cannon, at which point the men got out and tried to surrender.

Crazyhorse 18 reports AIF got into a dump truck headed north, engaged and then they came out wanting to surrender. Crazyhorse 18 reports they got back into truck and are heading north. Crazyhorse 18 cleared to engage dumptruck. 1/227 lawyer states they can not surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets. Crazyhorse 18 reports they missed with Hellfire and individuals have ran into another shack. IH6 approves Crazyhorse 18 to engage shack. Crazyhorse 18 reports engaged and destroyed shack with 2X AIF. BDA is shack/dump truck destroyed.

The helicopter, in other words, pursued a group of men who attempted to surrender, firing missiles at them not once but twice.

It is impossible to say, based on the limited evidence in the report, whether the unit’s lawyer was correct that the men driving the truck "can not surrender to aircraft".

Now, to expand on Gregg’s excellent reporting, I’d like to point out that ‘call signs’ like Crazy Horse 18 designate specific individuals, not specific equipment, per se…

In other words, Crazy Horse 18 is the same Apache helicopter pilot that was involved in those specific 2007 ‘incident’ reports. There is a remote chance it’s not the same pilot, but, it would be only a slim possibility…

Why is that you might ask…?

Call signs are standardized, they have remained the same throughout my twenty years of service and I’ve seen no proof of them having changed it since I retired 5 yrs ago…!

I should temper my statement, instead of it being a specific individual, rather, it’s a specific position held within the Combatant unit…

Here’s a basic primer on unit call signs, in numerical order…

-02 Generally, the TOC’s (Tactical Operation Center)call sign, be it at a Division, Brigade, Bn, and/or Co level…

-05 The Executive Officer’s(XO) nomenclature at all levels…

-06 The Commander’s(CO) call sign at all levels

Now, when you get to the higher numbers you’re looking at the individual maneuver unit’s call signs…

-10(19) First platoon call signs…

-20(29) Second plt, etc…

-30(39) Third plt, etc…

Some utilize the 40’s for a 4th plt, etc…

The 50’s are reserved for the Combat Support functions at all levels…

Rarely, have I heard any call sign above the 50’s…!

The point I’m trying to make is that a call sign is readily identifiable, and doesn’t change unless the individual has been promoted/demoted, and/or transferred…

Truly, ‘Crazy Horse 18’ should be prosecuted for ‘war crimes’…

*gah*

(cross posted at Whirled Peas)

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