The Navy: Failure to Communicate

Failure to Communicate

After the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 by the cruiser U.S.S. Vincennes last July, a Pentagon investigation concluded that combat stress caused the ship's crew to mistake the civilian jetliner, carrying 290 passengers, for an Iranian fighter jet. Last week a panel of experts convened by the International Civil Aviation Organization reached a different verdict: the tragedy could have been averted if the American warship had been better prepared to communicate with commercial aircraft over the Persian Gulf.

The ICAO report stated that the Vincennes had no radio equipment capable of monitoring the channels used by civilian aircraft talking to...

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