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Two soldiers die in separate training accidents

by Leigh Jones
Posted 9/15/17, 10:58 am

Two soldiers died this week during separate training exercises at two of the U.S. Army’s largest bases. On Thursday, a special operations soldier died during a demolitions training exercise that injured seven others at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Officials confirmed the men were at a range on the base but did not specify how the accident happened. Initial reports mentioned an explosion, but officials would not confirm that or provide information on the condition of those injured. On Tuesday, a soldier at Fort Hood in Texas died during hoist training for medical helicopter evacuations. And on Wednesday, an accident at Camp Pendleton in California injured 15 Marines. Eight suffered burns, while seven others required hospitalization for other injuries, when something sparked a fire in their amphibious vehicle during a training exercise.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Mon, 09/18/2017 02:36 am

    For a soldier, training accidents come with the job as they train for the next missions and battles with equipment that they take to the edge. I'll never forget Specialist Knighten, a black soldier instructing us newbies on learning a vehicle. "You gotta take it to the very edge so you know what it is capable of doing!" And man did he mean that! He would get a vehicle to walk on water if it was capable of it.  We looked up to Specialist  Knighten and tried to emulate him in some fashion. It was difficult though with our tracked vehicle which was the slowest one in the Division, but we got out of it the very best we could. The Cavalry with all the armored vehicles came with its dangers and risks. I'll never forget the time some soldiers came up with the grand idea for working on their tank by parking it on two sand dunes. While they worked on the tank, it slid down on a soldier and killed him. Now the Commander was disciplined for this, but their is the fine line of getting things done and foolish actions.  This is one of the challenges of being a soldier for most assignments come with some risk. Unfortunately today we are so risk adverse, that I fear it may impede us winning the next battle. Certainly, we don't want the foolish loss of life, but all training comes with risk, which we must not forget.  To have zero casualties suggests that not enough real training is going on, where too many casualties suggests foolish risk.  Soldiering is dangerous business!

  • Dignitas
    Posted: Wed, 09/27/2017 03:55 pm

    It is higher hazard and that's understood.  Training is different than 'real world', in slight but significant ways.  For instance 'hypoxia training' doesn't change biology.  Sleep deprivation doesn't change biology.....You can't make a human into a creature with gills.  You can't make a human into a robot.  On the other hand, you can make bodies & minds stronger through actual strengthening workouts/simulations/routines/developing desire to do right no matter what versus some of the bizarre/ punishing/brutal/ unscientific scenarios.  The deaths and dangers from hypoxia training in the military and athletes is very real.  The psychosis and inability of the body and brain to repair under forced sleep deprivation are real.  I agree this is very different from handling explosives, or having to work out hard, or keep at a task for hours, but these things need to be brought to light too.