Two Marines Shot During Live Fire Exercise at Twentynine Palms
Twentynine Palms, California is home to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC). On Sunday, May 6, two Marines were shot during a live fire exercise. One was released from the hospital, the other was in serious condition at last report.
Both Marines were assigned to the 3/4 or 3rd Battalion 4th Marines (“Thundering Third”), which is under the command of the 1st Marine Division. They were conducting a pre-deployment “manuever-under-fire-drill” when the accident occurred.
“Military training is an inherently dangerous task and the 1st Marine Division takes every precaution to ensure the safety of our training. Our commitment is to ensure that our training is as safe as possible. The training we conduct ensures our readiness to respond to any task we are assigned.” Lt. Samuel Banks, spokesman for the 1st Marine division in an emailed statement
Both Marines were evacuated to a local hospital by air ambulance, according to Military.com. The Marine Corps has not released the names of the two Marines wounded from small arms fire during the training.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported,
Military records show that members of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines have been participating in Integrated Training Exercise 3-18. Called an “ITX” by the troops, the nearly month of training is designed to simulate combat conditions that might be encountered by a Marine Air Ground Task Force.
Live Fire exercises
In January last year, Lance Corporal Austin Luiz, 19, was killed and another Marine seriously wounded in a live fire accident at the MCAGCC.
The Marine Corps is investigating the cause of the accident.
Military training is inherently dangerous, whether from aircraft “mishaps” or live fire exercises. Generally there are safeguards in place during the live fire drills to ensure that no one is injured, but accidents happen. Whenever there are people involved, anything can go wrong.