No charges to answer for Lossiemouth-based ‘thumbs up’ gunners?

51 Squadron – 2 Gunners cleared?

Speculation is growing that no charges are to be made against two RAF Lossiemouth airmen who were pictured alongside a dead Taliban insurgent following an attack on an Afghanistan airfield in 2012.

Images of the RAF Regiment gunners who were serving with the Lossiemouth-based 51 Squadron were widely publicised on national television.

However, veterans of the Afghanistan campaign came out in support of the pair, insisting that their actions were “understandable” if misguided, and certainly did not constitute any criminal act.

There were fears that the consequences of the actions of the two unnamed gunners could be severe, with speculation of human rights charges being levied. A Facebook campaign was launched in support of the pair that quickly attracted a following of over 10,000 people.

In a post on the page Gus Dinning, one of the administrators on the social media page, said: “It has now been announced that both these gunners will not face any disciplinary action.

“Regarding what has happened and regarding the speculation over the posting of the photograph, these were actually posted by a third party who did not have permission from the two lads concerned.

“I do not think this group had any impact regarding the outcome, but did really show the two lads and their families that they didn’t stand alone and had quite a lot of support from both inside the military family, but also from the general public.”

The images had been taken at Camp Bastion on the evening in 2012 when an attack left two US Marines dead and a number of British troops injured. Six Harrier jets were destroyed in the attack.

Several troops from the Lossiemouth base were praised for their courage during the action in which 14 insurgents were killed.

The Ministry of Defence has yet to confirm that no action is to be taken against the gunners.

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