A Marine was killed after a tactical vehicle carrying 14 other Marines rolled over on land during training at a California base.

The accident, involving an amphibious combat vehicle, occurred at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, according to a Marine Corps news release Wednesday.

The vehicle “was making a ground movement during training,” the release stated.

The Corps didn’t provide the name of the Marine who was killed, but it said the Marine was part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The military typically waits 24 hours after notifying the next of kin before releasing the identity of service members who have died.

Fourteen other Marines were in the vehicle when it flipped, according to the news release. They were taken to local hospitals and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, California, to get evaluated and treated.

The Marine Corps is investigating the incident, according to the release.

Camp Pendleton, a major Marine installation based on the Southern California coast, is home to training for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The unit has been preparing to deploy aboard Navy ships for a monthslong period of training with other countries and, if necessary, responding to global crises.

Marine spokesman 2nd Lt. Troy Garza on Wednesday declined to tell Marine Corps Times when the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit would deploy, citing the need to maintain operational security.

Amphibious combat vehicles can traverse waters from ship to shore and then move around on land on their wheels. In 2022, the vehicles were involved in at least three nonfatal rollovers, which — unlike Tuesday’s land-based accident — occurred on the water.

Safety concerns prompted the Marine Corps in October 2022 to suspend training operations in the surf zone. The Corps attributed the 2022 mishaps to training shortfalls and is gradually recertifying vehicle operators to transit the surf zone, though not yet with other Marines embarked in the back, Capt. Ryan Bruce told Marine Corps Times Dec. 5.

The Marine Corps also has noticed issues with the amphibious combat vehicle on land. In April, then-Commandant Gen. David Berger acknowledged the vehicle had experienced mechanical issues with its central tire inflation system and the shock absorbers, both of which relate to performance on land.

The vehicle’s manufacturer, BAE Systems, has been working with the Marine Corps to resolve those issues, according to both the company and the service.

The Marine Corps permanently ceased deploying the predecessor to the amphibious combat vehicle, the amphibious assault vehicle, in 2021 following a sinking the prior year that killed eight Marines and one sailor. That mishap, which also occurred in the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, led the Corps to fire multiple commanders.

Safety during training has been a point of heightened concern for the Marine Corps in recent months.

In the second half of August, a total of five Marines were killed in the accidental discharge of a firearm during nighttime training and two separate aircraft crashes.

Soon after these mishaps, the top Marine, Gen. Eric Smith, ordered a review of the “culture of safety” in every unit. Smith said in September the Marine Corps planned to establish a safety center led by a one-star general, a step up from the colonel-led safety division.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

Share:
In Other News
Opinion
Unleash the Space Force
Numbers outlining China's military space prowess are understandably alarming, but they don’t tell the whole story, Todd Harrison argues in an op-ed.
Load More