Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Canada's Senior Commander in Afghanistan investigated for accidental rifle discharge.

Although the general orders himself investigated to be transparent he was helped along by the fact that a reporter had already heard about the incident. It will be interesting to see how much detail if any emerges from the investigation. Somehow I doubt he will face court martial. The general is not alone as the article points out there have been hundreds of cases of accidental weapon discharges among Canadian troops in Afghanistan. This is from the Telegraph

Canada's military chief in Afghanistan 'fired rifle in air base'
Canad's senior military commander in Afghanistan has ordered an investigation into himself after he accidentally fired his rifle while loading it at an air base.

By Toby Harnden in Washington

Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard, who commands the Canadian and American troops who make up Task Force Kandahar, approached the media on Saturday, citing a need for openness, to say that his C8 carbine had fired unexpectedly at Kandahar air base on March 25th.
His disclosure followed inquiries from the independent war reporter Michael Yon. If an investigation concludes that the incident was a negligent discharge, then Brig-Gen Ménard, who once served as an exchange officer with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, could face a court martial under Canada's National Defence Act or a fine or reprimand.

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Two Canadian sources suggested to Mr Yon that Brig-Gen Ménard had fired his rifle inside an American helicopter and that he had nearly hit a Canadian official.
Brig-Gen Ménard stated that no property was damaged but declined to discuss further details because of the ongoing investigation. It is unusual for such a senior officer to carry a rifle.
In the past 18 months, more than 600 Canadian Forces soldiers have been convicted of negligently discharging their weapons. Most of those incidents involve junior soldiers or recruits and many of them an instance of pulling the trigger prematurely during firing range practice.

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