Arizona Soldier Killed As Military Training Deaths Outpace Combat Deaths 4-to-1
One of the three soldiers killed in a training accident at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday is a Peoria native.
Twenty-one-year-old Pvt. 1st Class Antonio Garcia was killed when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over into water, according to Maj. Gen. Tony Aguto, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division.
“A Bradley Fighting Vehicle from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat team was involved in a training accident when it rolled off a bridge and was submerged upside down in a stream on Fort Stewart Georgia training area,” Aguto said.
Training fatalities have outnumbered combat fatalities 4-to-1 over the past several years, according to Pentagon statistics. One of the most common training fatalities are vehicle accidents.
At the height of the violence during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military added armor to its Humvees to protect occupants from improvised explosive devices. The armor added significant weight to the vehicles, which made them more difficult to control, leading to many serious rollover accidents. These accidents were often fatal for turret gunners, who could be crushed or ejected.
Recently, the Army announced plans to retrofit its 100,000 Humvees with anti-lock brakes, but according to a Washington Post report, only about 3,000 of the vehicles have been upgraded.