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Marine Killed in Djibouti Training Accident

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2003 – A Marine was killed and eight Marines and Navy service members injured in what appears to be a training accident in Djibouti June 22, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa officials said.

CJTF spokesman Marine Capt. Will Klumpp said an Air Force B-52 Stratofortress apparently dropped "multiple" bombs in the wrong area of Godoria Range. Several hundred American personnel were participating in a supporting arms training exercise. "We've conducted four of these exercises," Klumpp said during a phone interview. "These are part of routine training." The range is located on the coast of Djibouti.

Two service members received minor injuries, were treated by medical personnel at Camp Lemonier and returned to their units, according to a task force release. The other six injured service members were transported to a hospital in Djibouti for treatment.

Two Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters supporting the exercise and parked near the range were damaged in the accident, the release stated.

Klumpp said the exercise includes coordinating ground, air and naval gunfire. "(These exercises) help personnel practice communications procedures," Klumpp said.

The exercise stopped immediately after the accident, which is under investigation, occurred. The name of the Marine killed is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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