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

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.
13:40.04 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).