Skip to comments.Human error blamed in deaths of 7 Marines during training
Posted on 05/29/2013 12:16:05 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
(CNN) -- Human error is to blame for a mortar round explosion that killed seven U.S. Marines and injured eight other service members during a training exercise in Nevada this year, the Marines said on Wednesday.
An investigation of the March 18 incident at Hawthorne Army Depot revealed that "the Marines employing one of the mortars did not follow correct procedures, resulting in the detonation of a high explosive round at the mortar position," the Marines said in a statement.
"The investigation also determined that the mortar section had not conducted appropriate preparatory training leading up to" the nighttime training session, the Marines said.
The mortar system itself functioned properly, the investigation determined.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
They'd evidently dropped in an impact-fused HE round, it didn't fire (as expected) because the gun was set to only fire when manually triggered. They called rounds complete, then later went on to the illumination mission while the unfired HE round was still in the tube. When the dropped the illum round, it didn't fire, so the gunner pulled the trigger...
May the families of these Marines find solace for the loss they have experienced.
Rest in Peace Marines
Just like the tornado in OK and the collapsed bridge in WA.
Nice explanation. Reminds us how serious/deadly training is... Most folks don’t appreciate how dangerous it is just to put on the uniform and go to work every day. I know I didn’t when I was younger.
Oh, isn’t that too bad.
Would you care to explain your comment?
when 7 people die, it may be an accident... but somebody is responsible for that accident. Especially in the Marine Corps. Same as a ship that runs aground. Just sad if that was the case. That’s why “attention to detail” is literally POUNDED into your brain housing group from day one. Just a sad thing all around.
That's part of why they thrashed the whole chain of command.
The thing about being in charge in the military is that it doesn’t matter if it was your FAULT. The bottom line is you are RESPONSIBLE. It is why the services, despite many well publicized failures and accidents, are the most trusted institutions in the U.S. Being a leader in the U.S. Military means you put your reputation and career on the line every day you get up, put on your uniform and walk out the door. To your point though, I can not think of a General Officer who has been relieved for anything other than personal misconduct in the recent past. I’m sure there is an example I Just can’t think of one...
I was under the impression that fuses aren’t actually set until the round leaves the tube.
To take the points you both make, let's say that range had been in sue for many years, configured exactly the same way, and what, tens of thousands of Marines had gone through the course, with exactly the same training standards and specifications, with nary ONE fatality..and now..all of a sudden, it's a command failure due to improper training and leadership? It may be, but we don't know..if we create a culture of zero-tolerance for training incidents..in which the price for such an event is your career, then it's gonna end up costing many more lives in combat..you train like you fight, you fight like you trained..
Not precisely. Yes, there is an inertia trigger to allow the round to get safely away before the firing train is aligned; however, placing another round on top of that fuse could (and apparently did) defeat that safety mechanism by providing inertia and contact simultaneously. It could also have simply caused the fusing to mechanically fail.
Same here. I assumed that even though it was an impact fuse that it had to attain a certain altitude or spin in order to ultimately arm the fuse?
Seem like a mistake that is too easy to make. I’d call that a system designer failure, not an operator failure.
It is too bad that they were young and didn’t probably pay enough attention to their training to do their jobs correctly and carefully. Spoken as a mom.
People are dead. Show some respect.
Sounds like your disdain for the armed forces didn’t get left behind upon your conversion to conservatism. That is what I read into your posting.
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