'There is a lot of learning between 'It fell' and 'I dropped it'.
'You got a sec?,' the strike pilot asked me. His cheeks still had the outline of his oxygen mask.
I followed him to another room and he pushed a video casette into the VCR.
'This is vision from the package that I just led.'
The black and white infra red images filmed from an F111C aircraft earlier that night three nautical miles away at 600 knots began playing. He was about to narrate when he paused, smiled, leaned back in his chair and gently closed the door from where three pilots from one of our allies were looking in.
'See the cross-hairs?' he resumed. 'You'll see me move them over the corner of this intersection.' He jabbed at the screen where the white cross was settling on the outline of the top of a building. 'This was our target. The telephone exchange in the centre of the city. Top left hand corner. Remember it?'
I nodded. I had reviewed and approved all the strike package targets for the Commander earlier in the day.
'See those numbers here?' He pointed at one of several sets of readouts along the edge of the image. 'They are simulating my laser guided bomb coming in. Three, two, one. Perfect. Bang on. Target destroyed. Well, simulated. Now watch.'
The cross hairs remained in place for a few seconds. Then glided to the ghostly outline of the building on the bottom right of the intersection. Then back up. Pause. Then diagonally down. The image flickered to black.
'Wrong building,' he said, punching the tape out of the recorder. 'I bombed the wrong corner of the intersection. I need you to tell me the consequences. I need you to brief me and the rest of the Squadron on the legal implications of my error. Can you do that?'
'Good,' he said. 'Thank you.'
There was a knock at the door then it opened to five bearded, filthy and grinning Special Forces soldiers.
'Come in fellas,' the Air Commodore said, then to me 'Sorry - these blokes just want to see the video of us tracking them along a creek bed last night from five miles away. They're curious. Didn't hear a thing. Want to sit in?'