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Unreported Air Strikes Carried Out in Middle East: Investigation

The U.S. Army Airstrikes that were not reported were carried out in the Middle East by attack helicopters and drones, according to an investigation by the Military Times.

The publication reports that 456 air strikes alone went unreported in 2016 and there is potential that this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in 2001.

The Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy however did report the number of airstrikes.

NBC 7 spoke with several military sources who told us there could be a variety of reasons that the Army may have not tracked the information. One reason is that the Army considers certain helicopters as transportation.

Retired Lt. David Gapp served as Chief of the Master Air Attack Planning at the Combined Air Operations Center in Cutter in the mid 2000’s. Part of his job was to help support the Army on the ground by helping to coordinate support from the air from the Air Force.

“It's flabbergasting to me that now 16 years later, with two wars in Southwest Asia, we don't have anybody in the army that thought this would be valuable information," Gapp said.

Americans want to know if and why people are killed and what was the risk involved in an operation.

Lt. Gapp, who is also active in Veterans for Peace said the public has a right to know the costs of war. He said he knows the loss first-hand.

“My father was killed flying in Vietnam so I know the cost of war personally," he said. "Every one of these strikes whether they cause casualties on behalf of American side or casualties on behalf of innocent civilians.”

There is also the financial cost, he added.

“As a taxpayer, as a retired military, I want to see that we are using resources properly, that they're being accounted for and that the commanders are able to justify these expenditures," he told NBC 7.

Gapp said there is the need to use the information to make decisions about future operations and troops safety. He added that this information should be out there somewhere in combat crew data and squadron pilot logs.

“It's out there somewhere, whether will see you or not to add to the 13,000 airstrikes for 2016. Time will tell," he said.

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