A soldier who died within the training grounds at Fort Irwin, California, on Monday has been identified by post officials.
The accident took place on the unit’s third training day and involved an M1113 HMMWV performing combat maneuvers, said Fort Irwin spokesman Jason Miller.
The other injured soldier was picked up by a military helicopter and brought to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. He has already been released after being medically cleared by hospital staff.
Kirby was assigned to Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which is garrisoned at Fort Irwin. He was originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts.
“Pfc. Kirby was well known across the regiment and his passing has deeply affected us all,” regiment commander Col. Scott Woodward said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his fellow Soldiers.”
“If you are wearing your seat-belts, you survive. If you’re not wearing your seat-belts, you don’t,” the Army chief of staff said.
The accident that took Kirby’s life hasn’t been fully detailed by Army officials. However, it comes one week after Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville told Congress he is concerned about the rise in training accidents and deaths.
“I’m very concerned about some of the training exercises we had where ... we lost some soldiers very tragically,” McConville said.
The large number and cost of mishaps comes as the Army increasingly focuses on large-scale combat.
“Some of this is getting back to being around very large and expensive equipment, where we started maneuvering our forces, which is very different than what we were doing before," he added. "All of sudden you have armored vehicles moving in very difficult terrain.”
The accident that took Kirby’s life occurred in a light utility vehicle, however, and the cause of the accident has not been released.