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A couple of you have sent this Daily Mail article to us about Brandon Bryant, who claims that he was a drone operator in Nevada. the article starts out smelling funny right from the get-go;
Bryant joined the military by accident when he accompanied a friend who was enlisting in the army and heard that he could go to university for free if he signed up to the Air Force.
Ooops, I slipped and fell and joined the Air Force by accident. Sorta like that? And an Army recruiter told him to join the Air Force? But this is the story that is the main thrust of the article;
The hut had a shed used to hold goats and when he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser.
The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.
‘These moments are like in slow motion,’ he told the website.
As the countdown reached seven seconds, there was no sign of anyone on the ground.
Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point.
But when it was down to three seconds, a child suddenly walked around the corner.
The next thing he saw was a flash on the screen – the explosion. The building collapsed, and the child disappeared.
First off here is the totally misleading headline – none of this happened in that story;
No one ordered anyone to “shoot a child” according to the story in the article, if the story even happened. I’m wondering why someone would want to spend a $68,000 missile to take out a goat shed. One $20,000/year private could have gone and kicked the shed down for a lot less money. I’ve read about folks calling for fire support and not getting it because it was too close to civilians for the anal retentive types who are apparently lawyers, too, to launch. I find it difficult to believe that this mission happened at all without the pilots having eyes on a target that wasn’t a goat shelter.
Of course, he caught the PTSD from taking out goat sheds, but he’s left the military and he’s much better now. Well, for now, I’m sure. So if anyone out there can shed some light on this guy, we’d appreciate it. Some of our readers are asking for a way to confirm the story, and someone out there must know this guy. But there are 15 Brandon Bryants on AKO, some of them are Air Force, so it must be a fairly popular name.
UPDATE: Well, someone did some investigating for us and found that the guy was who he says he was. Not to verify the story, but some folks know him and said he did that job. But, it seems that he’s still in the reserves and supposed to keep his mouth shut about the job, so he’s got his ass in a sling now because of this article.
The folks who called me said that there’s a few seconds delay between the drone and the pilot in regards to the video feed – which makes complete sense. So, if there was anything true about the story, by the time the drone sent the image of the boy in the goat shed, the missile had already impacted and Bryant wouldn’t have time to abort the missile. Again, no one is saying the story is at all true, but that’s a reason that it couldn’t be true.