Marine Corps officers blame bad information to sink the tragedy

Camp Pendleton, California (AP) —Marine battalion commander stopped an exercise on Friday that killed nine Marines who were inaccurate at the time when an amphibious attack vehicle sank from the coast of Southern California. Testified. Information for making such a decision.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Legner said his decision was partly based on what other commanders had told him.

He also said he was unaware that the Navy had changed plans that day and did not launch a safety vessel.

“At that time, I knew I would have said,’I wouldn’t go into the sea without a safety ship,'” Legner said.

Legner gave his account to a panel of three officers on the Investigation Commission. The commission advises the commander of Legner’s forces whether decorated officers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan should be shyly dismissed from his 20-year mark and denied severance benefits. Is issued.

However, the decision is not scheduled until later this month and will follow a pending deliberative committee for other officers, including one scheduled for next Tuesday.

According to a Marine Corps investigation, amphibious attacks on July 30, 2020, one of the deadliest Marine Corps training accidents in decades, due to inadequate training, shabby maintenance, and inadequate judgment by leaders. The vehicle sank.

16 people were on board this vehicle (a type of sailor tank) when it sank rapidly into 385 feet (117 meters) of water off San Clemente Island. Seven Marines were rescued as the ship returned to the Navy’s ship for training exercises.

Shortly after the sinking, Legner was released from the command of the landing teams of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, and 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. A Marine Corps statement at the time stated that his dismissal was based on “a significant amount of information and data” and cited a loss of trust.

The government argued at a hearing on Friday that Legner wasn’t the only one due to the tragedy, but his “substandard” leadership laid the groundwork for things to go as badly as they did.

Lieutenant Colonel Michael McDonald said in a closing statement of the army that Legner had decided to risk sending inexperienced and untrained Marines, including how to escape from the vehicle, to the sea.

“It was an absolute comedy of mistakes. This wasn’t sudden,” McDonald said.

Legner’s lawyer said the panel’s mission was to determine if Legner was valuable to the Marines and had potential for future services, arguing that the client had made it clear.

“He has never neglected his responsibilities,” said Major Corey Carver, Legner’s lawyer.

Legner felt when he talked about how he became a Marine when the United States entered the war after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and served his country “whole adulthood.” It became a target.

He said he was excellent throughout his career, including the last 18 months after he was released from his command and assigned to another job.

“Hell I grew up with this,” Legner said, wiping his tears. “My father was a Marine. I was raised by the Marines.”

Legner knew that 12 of the 13 amphibious attack vehicles used by the Marines for training had problems, but a fellow battalion commander with an overseas vehicle repaired them before the exercise. He said he assured him that he would.

He said he had tried to train the Marines underwater and warned senior leaders that his army had never performed this type of exercise.

He was constrained by a number of factors, including the fact that Marines had to squeeze preparations after being deployed to the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration, after which they suspended training in a coronavirus pandemic. Said he faced restrictions because of.

However, he said the company commander led the two troops, though not so, to believe that they were all certified as swimmers.

Other Marines are expected to face possible discharges. Colonel Christopher J. Bronzi, who oversaw Legner, was released from command of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit last year.

The panel was expected to review the 6,000-page research report and evidence before making a decision.

The Marines will use this vehicle to transport troops and their equipment from naval vessels to land. Armored vehicles equipped with machine guns and grenade launchers look like tanks when landing for beach attacks that the Marines are pouring from them to occupy a position.