Air Force officials will proceed
with nonjudicial punishment in the 2002 Canadian friendly fire
incident. This decision, made by Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, 8th Air
Force commander, grants Maj. Harry Schmidt’s petition to
withdraw his request for trial by court-martial.
General Carlson offered Major Schmidt nonjudicial punishment
June 19, 2003, in response to the charges. Six days, later, Major
Schmidt opted to be tried by court-martial instead of accepting
Major Schmidt is charged with dereliction of duty resulting from
a mistaken attack on Canadian ground forces near Kandahar,
Afghanistan, on April 17, 2002. He failed to ensure the target he
attacked was hostile before bombing it.
In addition, he failed to acknowledge and follow the direction
of his flight leader and to stand by as directed by a controller on
a Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.
These criminal offenses will now be handled under Article 15 of
the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Following resolution of the Article 15, the pending
court-martial charges and proceedings will be dismissed. If a
resolution is not reached, the court-martial will proceed.
Punishment under Article 15 in this case can range from no
punishment to a reprimand, a fine of up to $5,600, 60 days
restriction or 30 days arrest in quarters.
Major Schmidt dropped a 500-pound, laser-guided bomb from his
F-16 Fighting Falcon, killing four and wounding eight Canadian
soldiers who were participating in a live-fire exercise at Tarnak
Farms in Afghanistan.