6 Marines killed in explosion during training exercise at Army depot in Nevada

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posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 08:06 AM
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6 Marines killed in explosion during training exercise at Army depot in Nevada


usnews.nbcnews .com

Six U.S. Marines were killed and eight wounded when a mortar exploded during a live-fire training exercise late Monday at an Army munitions depot in the Nevada desert, military officials told NBC News.

A 60-millimeter mortar exploded in a tube at Hawthorne Army Depot as Marines were preparing to fire it, the officials said.

NBC affiliate KRNV in Reno reported that an explosion rocked the facility, just east of the California line, just before 10 p.m.

The injured were taken to two hospitals. Stacy Kendall, a spokeswoman for Renown Regional Medical Center, said that it was treating eigh
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 08:06 AM
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Looks like a training exercise went wrong and resulted in the tragic deaths of young soldiers.

I wonder if this will be spun by the MSM.

Based on some very brief research on the base, it appears it is a hub for transport bewtween the Middle East and the US, as well as training for special forces operations.

Thoughts?

usnews.nbcnews .com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by MDDoxs
 


As an ordnance professional, I can tell you that these type of incidents happen from time to time. There are step by step procedures for handling ordnance, and they are there for a reason. The vast majority of mishaps occur because of human error and complacency... rarely is it a malfunction or design error, because all of that is figured out before the ordnance item is issued for general use. This is a very sad story, but it isn't the first time something like this has happened and it certainly won't be the last.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by OptimusSubprime
As an ordnance professional, I can tell you that these type of incidents happen from time to time.


I am not an ordnace expert but I was a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant (18C) and latter a Special Forces Officer (18A). Like you say any explosion in proximity to 6 people at one time is most likley a greivious lack of training and ignoring proper misfire handling proceedures. Misfires do happen but trust me when I say after 60+ years of using the 60mm mortar in combat the US military has a checklist and a drill for the best way to handle it safely. Trust me when I say the 60mm mortar is about as idiot proof an indirect fire weapon as they come – no complex fire computations range is primarily point and shoot.


Originally posted by OptimusSubprime
There are step by step procedures for handling ordnance, and they are there for a reason. The vast majority of mishaps occur because of human error and complacency... rarely is it a malfunction or design error, because all of that is figured out before the ordnance item is issued for general use. This is a very sad story, but it isn't the first time something like this has happened and it certainly won't be the last.


The only thing I can think of is an actual failure of the round itself. Wouldn't be the first time that happened of course. Certainly won't be the last. Some gung-ho NCO probably followed the checklist waiting the times then went through the proper sequence to remove the hung round and decided it was time to "show" his young charges how it’s done rather than using the one man rule and wham - 6 dead marines.

Thing people need to understand when dealing with # that goes boom. There are rules for handling misfires and mistakes. They are time tested and come from the resultant inquiry and investigations of incidents just like this.

The US military is the best trained on the planet, with the best equipment and best leaders but sometimes # just happens. We shoot each other in chaotic situations (my only bullet wound in combat was friendly fire), a round falls short, a wiz-bang hot shot pilot misses his target and 3 Afghani kids die (that was my mission BTW) I called the target and the pilot simply missed. It is not a profession for those who do not understand the risk. Huge investigation, inquiry and in the end proceedures were revised to ensure there was a final check with the ground controller before the strike.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 09:00 AM
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What a damn shame!! I wonder how old the ammunition was.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by Metha-Don
What a damn shame!! I wonder how old the ammunition was.


With the rate we are firing 60mm ammo down range I would be surprised if it was very old at all...

Every Rifle Company has a 60mm mortar section(3), most SFOD's have a section (3). Sometimes on a direct action mission (only carried 1 tube the others sat in the base) my team of 12-18 men would fire all the rounds we could carry which is about 108 or 6 each just to prep the area.

A Rifle Company can carry more... and likely they'd fire it in the same manner.

Burning rounds at a phenomenal rate I suspect.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by Golf66
 


The conspiracy part of me wonders if a tampered round was in the mix.

That tactic has been used quite a lot in COIN. Maybe someone was complacent and it found it's way back to CONUS after the pull out in Iraq?

As you say, The M224 is pretty dummy proof.

Then again, maybe they had a hang-fire and some dip-stick jack-wagon dropped another round in the excitement.



posted on Mar, 19 2013 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by TDawgRex
The conspiracy part of me wonders if a tampered round was in the mix.


A poor quality controlled round is more likley IMO.


Originally posted by TDawgRex
That tactic has been used quite a lot in COIN. Maybe someone was complacent and it found it's way back to CONUS after the pull out in Iraq?


Neither the Hajji contractors nor the green forces ever handled ammo at any compound that I saw. So unless they have infiltrated active duty ammo handling units... It's possible but not likley since rounds are stored sealed in those little tubes until they are sent to the using unit. I have never received a 60mm round that was surplus out of the sleeve, or even in a sleeve but unsealed. So I doubt that anyone would take the time (or even get that much access alone) to rounds to rig them to misfire and reseal them.

ETA: Just because I never saw them (foreign contractors) handle the rounds doesn't mean it didn't happen somewhere of course; however, if that is the case the ass hat officer who made that decision needs to be fired.

Anyway, once ammo is deployed OCONUS it has been my experience in 24 years of service that it is never returned. It is dangerous for the reasons you stated of course but primarily it is simply cheaper logistically to leave it for the Iraqis (or whatever the host nation happens to be) as "aid" than it is to send it back.

That or if it is not compatible with any of their platforms it would be destroyed. As an SF Engineer I blew tons and tons of old soviet ammo in theater after DS.

I also blew a rather large stash of our own ammo (.556 and 7,62) at our base in 2004 Afghanistan (it was mostly claymores though) that were opened exposed to the elements for 7 months and deemed unable to be reissued. It was almost 300 claymores and other AP type mines if I recall. We had them all around the base – recovered them as we left - one hell of a boom. Shook the ground for miles.

I have been on deployments for nation support that included pallets and pallets of ammo that were simply left behind as a "good will " gesture. Basically, that is a way to give soft aid to certain groups off the books.


Originally posted by TDawgRex
As you say, The M224 is pretty dummy proof.

I've seen some indige do some asinine things when we were training them on the mortar but yeah "mostly" idiot proof.


Originally posted by TDawgRex
Then again, maybe they had a hang-fire and some dip-stick jack-wagon dropped another round in the excitement.


I think it was either that or some NCO had a misfire and wanted to "show" his marines how it was mitigated. Either way its no less tragic.

ETA: Regarding a hung round and double feeding - if I remember my proceedures correctly the gunner is supposed to "watch" the round leave the tube with verbal confirmation indicated aloud. I mean a mortar round is pretty slow - easy to see. Maybe by FM it's another person on the team has that responsibility but I know someone does.

It's been a while and in SF we don't follow FM's out of necessity. Usually there is only one dude manning the 60 in direct fire mode with the team having prepped all the rounds before and left him in a support position with the Team Sergeant and maybe a sniper/marksman and/or LMG - so there are more people but they have their own missions. The Team Sergeant basically acts as the FDC/CCP/Support TL. In base camp of course we'd have two men on one mortar but those were 81's. We never had enough men for a full team on any system.


edit on 19/3/2013 by Golf66 because: (no reason given)
edit on 19/3/2013 by Golf66 because: (no reason given)





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