GRAHAM COUNTY — On Sept. 5, a United States Air Force plane on a routine training mission unintentionally released a rocket in an uninhabited area near Mount Graham.
According to a news release from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, an A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft released a single M-156 rocket at approximately 10:40 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. The incident occurred in the Jackal Military Operations Area, approximately 60 miles northeast of Tucson. “This training area is not designated for munitions release,” Davis-Monthan officials stated. The Thunderbolt was assigned to the 354th Fighter Squadron of the 355th Wing.
The M-156 is a white phosphorus rocket. The military uses white phosphorus to produce smoke for concealing troop movement and to identify targets.
The rocket landed in a desert wash in an unoccupied area near Mount Graham. According to the news release, no injuries, damages or fires were reported at the time, and the incident is currently under investigation.