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U.S. Sees Sophistication in Shootdowns

By James T. McKenna | February 20, 2007

U.S. officials now say sophisticated weapons and tactics have played a role in a series of helicopter downings. The U.S. military’s chief spokesman in Iraq, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, said insurgents had used "sophisticated" weapons to shoot down a U.S. Marine Corps Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight Feb. 7, killing all seven aboard. Army Maj. Gen. James E. Simmons, a deputy commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said later that "multiple weapons systems" fired simultaneously seem to have been used in some of the recent shootdowns. In congressional testimony in Washington, Gen. James Conway, commandant of the Marines Corps, said the Sea Knight had not properly released its anti-missile defensive measures—possibly indicating use of a weapon that the countermeasures would not detect.  For related news

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