May 31, 2017

Mississippi National Guardsman dies in California training


FORT IRWIN, Calif.–One Mississippi National Guard soldier has been killed and three others have been injured during a training exercise in California.

The Guard said in a news release May 30 that investigators are trying to determine what caused the death and injuries May 29 night at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin.

The four soldiers are assigned to the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, based in Tupelo, Mississippi. The Army confirmed that the soldier who died was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 198th Armored Regiment.

The troops were conducting combat maneuver operations in an M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank that was involved in a rollover incident, according to an Army news release.

The three injured soldiers were taken by military helicopter to the Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif. Two have been released and one remains in stable condition. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our fallen soldier’s family, friends, and fellow 2-198 AR soldiers,” Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles, the adjutant general of Mississippi, said in the release. “The safety and security of our soldiers and airmen is paramount and we are working diligently to prevent any future incidents.

The names have not yet been released, but the Army said all next of kin have been notified. 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted his condolences May 30.

“Last night we lost a MS Natl. Guardsman during training in Calif. Three others injured. Let us pray for the loved and lost in this tragedy,” Bryant said.

The 155th ABCT — the largest unit in the Mississippi National Guard — is participating in Decisive Action Rotation 17-07 at the National Training Center.

The exercise “is reflective of the complexities of potential adversaries our nation could face and include: guerrilla, insurgent, criminal and near-peer conventional forces woven into one dynamic environment,” according to the National Training Center’s Operations Group Facebook page. 

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