Marines Fire Commander In Charge Of Unit Where Nine Died
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Credit: Department of Defense
The Marines have fired the commander of the unit where eight Marines and a sailor were killed in an amphibious assault vehicle, or AAV, accident over the summer.
The accident happened July 30, during an exercise off the coast of San Clemente Island. The investigation into why the armored landing craft sank has not finished but the Marines fired Lt. Col. Michael J. Regner, who was in charge of the Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, which is part of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
A U.S. Defense Department video shows Regner speaking at a memorial ceremony in August at Camp Pendleton, for the nine troops who died.
“We need that courage to face our future challenges,” he said. "We can take comfort to know that path of courage is lit by the flame of that each one of these heroes has lit in our heart.”
The commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, Lt. Gen. Karsten S. Heckl, relieved Regner, citing a loss of trust and confidence in his ability. Relieving Regner is a sign that investigators are getting close to determining why the AAV abruptly sank, surrounded by other craft.
In the meantime, the commandant of the Marine Corps have suspended all water operations involving the armored personnel carrier.
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