ARCHIVED - Tarnak Farm Board Of Inquiry Executive Summary Released

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News Release / June 28, 2002 / Project number: NR-02.046

OTTAWA - The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of National Defence, released today portions of the executive summary of the Tarnak Farm Board of Inquiry (BOI) final report that investigated the April 17 incident that killed four and injured eight Canadian soldiers serving with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) Battle Group in Afghanistan.

In its executive summary, the Board states clearly that the Canadian troops involved in the night live-fire exercise had been fully authorized to do so, and had conducted the exercise in accordance with the established range procedures, including the types of weapons fire. It was the conclusion of the Board that the two American F-16 pilots contravened established procedures and were the cause of the incident.

"I am satisfied with the excellent and thorough work done by General (ret) Maurice Baril and his team," said Minister McCallum. "There is nothing we can do to bring our lost soldiers back, but we will do all that is humanly possible to mitigate the risk of such a tragedy happening again."

"The report makes clear findings and recommendations and answers our key questions about what happened in Afghanistan on that terrible day," said General Ray Henault, Chief of the Defence Staff. "Implementation of some of the recommendations is already underway. We will be working closely with our allies towards putting the recommendations in place."

The Board has determined that on the night of the incident, members of 3 PPCLI Battle Group (BG) were conducting approved and coordinated night live-fire training. Two American F-16 pilots over-flying the area observed the live fire event but did not recognize it as a surface-to-surface training exercise, instead perceiving it as enemy surface-to-air fire. Their actions in response culminated with the release of a 500-pound laser-guided bomb that killed and wounded members of the BG.

The released portions of the executive summary of the final report can be found on the DND website at Portions of the executive summary could not be released for reasons of privacy, operational security and prejudice to any future US military justice decisions. The report as a whole is being processed to determine what information can be released having regard to these same provisions.


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