Saturday, October 20, 2018
Military News

CentCom investigating video that appears to show a service member opening fire on a civilian

The U.S. military is investigating a video posted to YouTube that appears to depict a U.S. service member opening fire on a civilian driving a truck in Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said.

The video, apparently recorded on a camera attached to a service memberís helmet, shows a service member holding a shotgun as the truck rolls by his military vehicle. The passenger-side window of the truck shattered, though it is not clear that a round from the shotgun was fired.

The clip, first reported by Politico on Wednesday night, has prompted an investigation by U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations across the Middle East and parts of southern Asia. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is aware of the case, said Dana White, a spokeswoman for the secretary.

"We actually have very good procedures for this, as you know," Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the director of the Pentagonís Joint Staff, told reporters on Thursday. "We take these allegations very seriously. ... This is not something we look at lightly, and itíll receive all the serious attention that it deserves."

CentCom said in a statement that the video is not official, not authorized and does not represent the professionalism of U.S. troops.

"I have reviewed the video and I am disappointed and also concerned that the American people, our Coalition partners, the Afghan government, and the Afghan people will believe that American service members are callous and indifferent to the horrors of war or the suffering of innocent people trapped in conflict," said Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of CentCom, in the statement. "I can assure you that this video does not represent the professionalism or humanity of the men and women of U.S. Central Command. We reject the unprofessional and callous message this video conveys."

Politico reported that the video was initially posted anonymously under the title "Happy Few Ordnance Symphony," and quickly removed. It could mark yet another in a long line of instances in which U.S. troops have photographed or recorded video of themselves or their colleagues misbehaving in war zones, only to face criminal or administrative discipline afterward.

The video shows the service member carrying the shotgun wearing a pattern of camouflage often associated with Special Operations troops, though it isnít clear whether any were involved in the incident. It also isnít clear whether the shotgun was loaded with lethal ammunition, or a non-lethal alternative such as a beanbag, which U.S. troops sometimes carry.

Service members regularly shoot videos and photos, and YouTube is home to many videos recorded in combat. The U.S. military prohibits service members from taking photographs or video with detainees or human remains.

Comments
Hillsborough puts battlefield and court fights behind, dedicates new Civil War memorial

Hillsborough puts battlefield and court fights behind, dedicates new Civil War memorial

TAMPA ó Efforts to mark Americaís bloodiest conflict proved divisive as Hillsborough County made plans to erect a Civil War memorial.But the final result was dedicated Saturday morning in peace and solemnity, with a nod to those who fought for both t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
New USF institute cements ties with SOCom in pursuit of security innovations

New USF institute cements ties with SOCom in pursuit of security innovations

TAMPA ó Inside a mesh cage at a University of South Florida engineering lab, ten small drones lift off and hover in unison, the sound of tiny blades whirring like a hive of angry hornets.They are part of the technology being developed here for hypers...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Nelson vows Tyndall Air Force Base will be rebuilt

Nelson vows Tyndall Air Force Base will be rebuilt

Sen. Bill Nelson, who toured Tyndall Air Force Base on Sunday morning and witnessed firsthand the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, said he will recommend the base be rebuilt."The base is destroyed," Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times. He added t...
Published: 10/14/18
Updated: 10/15/18
Palm Harbor event offers help for those living with the pain of military suicide

Palm Harbor event offers help for those living with the pain of military suicide

They were high school sweethearts from Sarasota, married at a young age and whisked into the tumultuous life of military service.But when Richard Stumpf came back from the Gulf War in 1991, his wife noticed he wasnít the same man. He was moody. Drank...
Published: 10/04/18
Updated: 10/05/18
Joe Henderson: Florida National Cemetery, so often passed by, can take a visitor's breath away

Joe Henderson: Florida National Cemetery, so often passed by, can take a visitor's breath away

Exit 309 off Interstate 75 in Bushnell is about an an hour north of Tampa, and I have driven by it many more times than anyone can count, past the sign pointing to the Florida National Cemetery.Never paid much attention to it, to tell you the truth. ...
Updated one month ago
Town íN Country post office may be renamed in honor of local airman killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Town íN Country post office may be renamed in honor of local airman killed in Iraq helicopter crash

The Town íN County post office may be renamed in honor of a local airman killed earlier this year in a helicopter crash in Iraq.Air Force Maj. Andreas OíKeeffe, a graduate of Tampa Bay Technical High School and the University of South Florida, was in...
Updated one month ago