In Training Snafu, US Jets 'Bomb' Great Barrier Reef

Jets were forced to jettison 4 bombs

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 21, 2013 7:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – US fighter jets running low on fuel dropped four bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef last week, reports the BBC, in a training mission gone wrong. The AV-8B Harriers were supposed to drop the bombs—two of which were disabled, while two were inert—on a bombing range on a nearby island, but were forced to abort the mission and ditch payload in order to safely return to the USS Bonhomme Richard, adds CNN. The 500-lb. bombs landed in some 165 feet of water, away from the fragile coral and out of the way of passing ships. The exercise was a joint operation between American and Australian armed forces.

In this Sept. 2001 file photo, an aerial view shows Australia's Great Barrier Reef, where US fighters jettisoned four bombs last week in a training emergency.   (AP Photo/Queensland Tourism, File)
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