US Military Loses Multiple Marines in One Week

( – Two US Marines have died in training accidents in a single week. One of the men was killed in a training accident at a North Carolina base; the other died at a base in California. At least one of them was training for an upcoming deployment.

On April 18, Sergeant Colin Arslanbas, who served in a reconnaissance unit of II Marine Expeditionary Force, was killed in a “parachute mishap” during a pre-deployment exercise. Arslanbas’s unit is due to deploy on the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp and had been carrying out readiness training; Arslanbas died during a parachute jump at Marine Corps Outlying Field Atlantic, a USMC airbase in Carteret County, North Carolina.

Around 5 p.m. local time on April 23, another Marine was killed during a “routine military operation” at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, California. The USMC hasn’t released the latest casualty’s name yet, but it seems he was part of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303. This unit trains Marine aircrew on AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, the latest version of the famous Huey Cobra, and UH-1Y utility helicopters. No details of the accident have been released.

While it’s tragic that two Marines have died in a short space of time, this probably doesn’t mean there’s a major issue in the Marine Corps. Training needs to be realistic, and that means there’s always an element of danger involved. Sgt Arslanbas was taking part in a night parachute jump; parachuting always carries some risk, and more so at night.

Helicopters aren’t risk-free either; they have a higher accident rate than fixed-wing aircraft, and moving around them on the ground can be dangerous, too. The Marines are one of the cutting-edge components of the US military and specialize in aggressive operations. That means their training always has an element of danger, and unfortunately, accidents are inevitable.

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