Ottawa — Although they once faced the possibility of a 64-year jail sentence, Major William Umbach will simply get a reprimand and his flying partner, Major Harry Schmidt, will face a light set of administrative penalties for the late-night bombing last year that left four Canadian soldiers dead.
The U.S. military announced yesterday that it would not have recourse to a courts-martial against the F-16 pilots, saying that any punishment will be meted out through non- judicial means.
Major Schmidt, who released the fatal bomb in April, 2002, will face a final set of proceedings that can lead to one or more of the following penalties: a reprimand, 30 days' confinement to quarters, forfeiting one month's pay or losing his pilot's licence.
Major Umbach, who has been criticized for his lack of control over his subordinate, will receive a reprimand for "his leadership failures as the lead pilot." He will be allowed to leave the U.S. Air Force....(article continues)
From BBC News:
But a joint US-Canadian investigation said the men were at fault for the deaths - the worst case of so-called friendly fire during the war in Afghanistan.
The F-16 pilots bombed what they thought were hostile troops. The pilots were found to have shown a reckless disregard for flight rules and it was found they had taken military issue amphetamines - known as "go pills" - to allow them to fly a 10-hour sortie to Afghanistan...
Is this an appropriate punishment for four cases of manslaughter? I suspect civilians would be judged much more harshly.