FighterSweep Fans, scenario-based training is a place where you absolutely cannot afford to have any lapses in your attention to detail. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done it one or a thousand times, accidents happen when someone assumes all is in order and perhaps forgoes their checklist discipline. That is how live rounds get mixed in with training rounds. These soldiers are lucky no one aboard the Apache was hurt and the aircraft didn’t sustain serious damage.
A soldier who should’ve been firing blanks hit an Apache helicopter with live rounds last week during training at Fort Irwin, California, an Army spokesman confirmed [last] Tuesday.
The soldier, with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was augmenting the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment for the exercise, Fort Irwin spokesman Ken Drylie said. The cavalry regiment provides opposing-force personnel for rotations at the National Training Center.
The incident took place Friday, Drylie confirmed, and was reported two days later in a post on the U.S Army W.T.F! Moments Facebook page, which included a photo reportedly of the Apache in question.
Army investigators are attempting to determine how the soldier — his name and rank weren’t released — came in possession of live ammunition. The OPFOR unit is not issued live rounds, Drylie said.
“That’s the $100 question right now, because that unit shouldn’t have had live ammo,” he said. “So, wherever it came from, they’re going to figure out where it came from.”
The Apache, with JBLM-based 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, suffered superficial damage from “about four rounds,” Drylie said. It landed at 8:44 a.m. as part of a full stop of the training exercise, standard operating procedure when live rounds are introduced unexpectedly. Training resumed later that day after a “100 percent inspection,” Drylie said.
The original article can be ready in the Army Times right here.
(Featured Photo courtesy of Boeing Defense)