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Navy officer relieved of command after the training incident that killed 9 people

A marine lieutenant colonel was relieved of command Tuesday following a training incident that killed nine U.S. service members off the coast of California in late July, the military said.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Regner, commander of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was relieved due to loss of confidence and security, said Camp Pendleton of the Corps base. Marines.

Eight Marines and a Navy sailor died after the amphibious assault vehicle they were in sank off the coast of San Clemente Island off the coast of Southern California on July 30.

Lieutenant General Karsten S. Heckl, commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force, relieved Regner “due to a loss of confidence and confidence in his command ability following the amphibious assault vehicle incident,”

; said the base in a statement.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, the marine base statement says.

A remote-controlled vehicle is deployed off the coast of Southern California on August 3, 2020, while searching for a sunken amphibious assault vehicle.Curtis Khol / US Navy via AP

A dead Marine was recovered after the training incident. The bodies of the other eight service members were recovered in early August. The amphibious assault vehicle was found in 385 feet of water, the military said.

In all, 15 Marines and one sailor were aboard the amphibious assault vehicle when it started taking water around 5:45 pm. July 30.

They reported to the rest of the unit, Lieutenant General Joseph L. Osterman said at the time. Two amphibious assault vehicles and a security boat were nearby, he said. All Marines had flotation devices, and some of those rescued were found swinging with the equipment successfully deployed, Osterman said.

The 26-ton vehicle appeared to be sinking in “several hundred feet of water” more than 1,000 meters from the northwest corner of the island, he said then. The vehicle sank during a “land-to-ship maneuver,” the military said.

A search and rescue operation was initiated for all survivors, but was canceled after an extensive 40-hour search, the military said at the time.

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