Huh? U.S. Forced to Drop 4 bombs on Great Barrier ReefSubmitted by JO4RP on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 19:02
Two U.S. Marine Corps’ (USMC) AV-8B Harrier jets were forced to drop 4 bombs on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia this week, NBC News is reporting, citing two unidentified U.S. officials.
The incident occurred on July 16 while the jets were flying on a training mission that would have them drop the ordnances on a bombing range on Townshend Island, an island off the coast of Queensland in Australia.
For an unidentified reason, the bombing range was not cleared by the time the jets reached it, forcing them to pull back. According to the news report, the jets could not land with the ordnances still on board and after circling around, they soon began running low on fuel.
“They chose to save the aircraft,” NBC News quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying.
Each jet dropped two 500-pound bombs on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral marine in the world. Fortunately, two of the bombs, BDU 45s, were inert to begin with and thus did not explode. The other two ordnances, GBU 12s, were unarmed when the pilots decided to drop them and have not yet exploded.