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Soldier killed in training collision at Fort Bliss

A Fort Bliss soldier was killed in a military vehicle collision Friday, according to Army officials at the post headquartered near El Paso, Texas.

Sgt. Roger Matamoros Chavarria, 27, died during a training event, the details of which were not provided and are still under investigation, officials said in a press release.

Matamoros Chavarria was assigned to the 123rd Support Battalion, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, as a motor transport operator.

“The Iron Support Battalion is incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Sgt. Matamoros Chavarria and we grieve with his family and friends during this incredibly difficult time,” said Lt. Col. Gilberto Escobedo, the battalion commander, in a prepared statement.

Matamoros Chavarria joined the Army in November 2012 out of Key West, Florida. He had been stationed at Fort Bliss since January 2019.

Matamoros Chavarria’s list of awards during his years of service include the Combat Action Badge, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the Air Assault Badge.

Earlier this summer, another accident at Fort Bliss involved an M1 Abrams tank accidentally firing on another tank during a qualification exercise. One soldier was wounded in that incident, which also remains under investigation.

Military training accidents have become the focus of some in Congress this summer, following an accident investigation that detailed the death of Spc. Nicholas C. Panipinto, 20, whose M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle overturned at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on Nov. 6.

The investigation identified a range of issues that played roles in the soldier’s death, including a delay in the medical response and defective equipment.

Panipinto’s congressman, Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan, has asked that the House Armed Services Comittee hold a public hearing “to get to the bottom of these tragic accidents,” which have historically outpaced combat deaths.

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