Reporting Form - Near Miss Friendly Fire Incidents, No Casualties
(Vietnam incidents involving Australian troops only please)

Dr Bob Hall (Platoon Commander 12 Pl D Coy 8 RAR, Second in Command A Coy 8 RAR, author of Combat Battalion: The Eighth Battalion in Vietnam) is conducting research for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) into how and why friendly fire incidents occur in infantry combat operations, and would like to hear about friendly fire incidents that did not result in casualties.  The aim of the study is to try and reduce the number of such incidents in the future.

We all know that for every incident that resulted in one or more casualties and was therefore reported and investigated, there were a number of incidents that were "near misses", and therefore there is no file.  If you were a witness to, or a participant in a "near miss" friendly fire incident, would you please complete the questionnaire below to the best of your recollection.  Click the Submit button to e-mail it to Bob.

Platoon, Company and Battalion

eg 3 Platoon, A Company, 5 RAR

Date of incident


Time of day/night



eg 1k west of Binh Ba, or Courtenay Rubber

Source of "near miss" fire

Explanation (if required)

eg US Helicopter

Short description of incident

Role of your unit/sub unit when incident occurred

Explanation (if required)

eg Clearing Patrol from Fire Support Base

Role of other unit/sub unit when incident occured

Explanation (if required)

eg Clearing by fire

How many "friendly fire" incidents did you witness that resulted in casualties?

eg 2

How many "friendly fire" incidents did you witness that did NOT result in  casualties?

eg 2

The following information is to try and identify the factors that contributed to the incident.  Please select those that you feel apply, and add or elaborate if you think that the description is inadequate.

Visibility conditions

Explanation (if required)

eg Daylight, heavy cloud and patchy rain


Explanation (if required)

eg Crossing open area in otherwise dense jungle

Approx range of visibility
in metres

eg 15-25m

Approximate range of engagement in metres

eg 20-25m

Level of enemy threat at time of engagement

Explanation (if required)

eg Heavy enemy patrolling encountered

Level of unit experience

Explanation (if required)

eg Very early in tour


Explanation (if required)

eg Didn't cover friendly forces properly

Other issues

Navigation error by own unit

Navigation error by other unit

On boundary of operational area

Relaxed at end of operation

Hyped up after contact

Acceptable risk given the nature of the op

Do you have any other comments or information that will assist analysis of the incident?

Your e-mail address (only if you want to)


Back to homepage Back to homepage Back to homepage s