Eleven Fort Bliss soldiers were injured, and two remain in critical condition, after eating an unknown substance during a field training exercise Thursday.
The soldiers fell ill after consuming a substance acquired from outside of their authorized food supply channels, according to officials from the Army post near El Paso, Texas.
“The substance and how it was provided is still being investigated. I can confirm we do not suspect it was associated with an MRE. Everything else is being investigated,” said Lt. Col. Allie Payne, a spokeswoman for 1st Armored Division.
The injured soldiers are currently at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center on post, Payne added.
The injured personnel include one warrant officer, two noncommissioned officers and eight enlisted members.
Fort Bliss officials have been in contact with the injured soldiers’ family members, said Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, senior mission commander of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
“We took immediate action to treat everyone involved with the best medical care available. Our Leaders are engaged at every level to provide guidance, information, and care for their teammates,” Bernabe said in a statement. “Our commitment to our soldiers and families remains our number one priority as we work to understand what occurred Jan. 28.”
Fort Bliss and law enforcement officials are jointly investigating the incident. Payne said updates would be issued as information became available.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.