Last November, during a training mission, a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot dropped a GBU-12 Paveway II bomb near Daughon Bombing Range in Aomori Prefecture, according to Popular Mechanics.

Reports claim the pilot allegedly was unable to see the target due to the scattered night clouds. The pilot reportedly asked another plane in his three-ship formation for coordinates, but somehow the pilot got confused and dropped it in the wrong place.

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As luck would have it, the laser-guided bomb was inert, but it still landed on a private plot of property 3.4 miles from the intended target. Nothing like having a 500-pound bomb land on your property in the dead of night, eh? And on top of that, in another country that is supposed to be your ally.

The Air Force grounded the pilot, disqualified, retrained, and relegated to inform all other Misawa Air Base pilots “on the sequence of events leading up to the mishap to prevent a similar incident.” The mishap was blamed on “channelized attention, changing weather, and targeting technical error.” No damage or injuries were reported.

Believe it or not, incidents like this have occurred in the past and, if not careful and properly handled, could have upset relations with local governments, mainly when they occur at overseas bases.

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In this case, Newsweek reported the Aomori province issued a “severe protest” over an apparent lack of official transparency. The central government in Kyoto said it “issued a severe protest against the US side” and denied any attempt at a cover-up.

This piece originally appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.

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