CAMP PENDLETON — An official inquiry into the facts surrounding the Jan. 14 sinking of an amphibious assault vehicle that caused the death of a Marine at Camp Pendleton, has been completed. The vehicle was assigned to the Assault Amphibian Schools Battalion.
Eight Marines, including a battalion commander, have been relieved of duty after an investigation of the incident. A stuck accelerator and non-standard training and operating procedures were blamed but “ultimately a lack of sufficient oversight” caused the Jan. 14 training accident in the Del Mar Boat Basin of Camp Pendleton, that killed 27-year-old Sgt. Wesley Rice.
The bow plane was not deployed, forcing the nose of the vehicle into the water, according to a Marine Corps investigation. Water flooded the vehicle because hatches were left open. This led to the sinking of an amphibious assault vehicle at Camp Pendleton on Jan. 14.
Brig. Gen. Michael M. Brogan, the Commanding General of Training Command, convened a Board of Inquiry immediately after the mishap. In light of information gathered during the inquiry, Brogan assembled a team to address the Program of Instruction at the Assault Amphibian Schools Battalion. The team will also review the reference publications specific to the amphibious assault vehicle community.
Additionally, Brogan ordered remedial or administrative action be taken to correct deficiencies in responsibilities within the battalion staff. These actions include the relief of the Battalion Commander.