Harrier aircraft conduct emergency jettison
UNITED STATES 7TH FLEET PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Two Harrier aircraft conducted emergency jettison of ordnance off coast of Queensland, Australia.
From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs
SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN (July 20, 2013) - Two AV-8B Harrier aircraft launched from USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) that were conducting precursor activity associated with Exercise Talisman Saber conducted an emergency jettison of four pieces of ordnance off the coast of Queensland, Australia. After being unable to expend their ordnance during a planned training mission, and having insufficient fuel to reach their pre-designated jettison area, the pilots jettisoned the ordnance in an unarmed condition on 16 July.
The location of the emergency jettison area was approximately 16 nautical miles south of Bell Cay in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park of Capricorn channel.
The Harriers had intended to drop the ordnance in Townshend Island Range but controllers reported the area was not clear of hazards. Due to low fuel and inability to land with the amount of ordnance they were carrying, the on scene commander determined it was necessary to designate an emergency jettison area for the ordnance. Each Harrier jettisoned one BDU 45 and one GBU 12, for a total of four bombs, of which none exploded. BDU 45s are inert ordnance, and the GBU 12s were jettisoned in a safe, unarmed state and did not explode.
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are working closely with Australian authorities to investigate the incident. The selected emergency jettison area was in a deep channel away from the reef to minimize the possibility of reef damage. It is approximately 50 to 60 meters deep and does not pose a hazard to shipping or navigation. We are coordinating with Australian officials to ensure an appropriate navigation notice is issued until charts can be updated showing the location of the unexploded ordnance.
The Harriers are part of 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, under the operational and tactical control of Commander, Task Force 76.
Queries on this matter should be directed to U.S. Seventh Fleet Public Affairs: 808-653-2152, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Exercise Talisman Saber 13 Combined Joint Information Bureau +61 7 4936 6266 email email@example.com