Pfc. Casey J. Holmes (Marine Corps Base Hawaii courtesy photo)
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TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — A Hawaii-based Marine was killed by a bulldozer mishap during a training exercise Monday at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.
The death of Pfc. Casey J. Holmes, 20, who was originally from Chico, is under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which is standard protocol for Marine deaths, said Cpl. Reece Lodder, a spokesman for Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
Holmes was at Twentynine Palms specifically for the Integrated Training Exercise, a 28-day program used to ready Marines before they deploy, Lodder said. These types of training exercises are “decidedly kinetic in nature” and include infantry, vehicles, aircraft and sometimes the use of live ammunition, Lodder said.
The Desert Sun confirmed with Combat Center Public Affairs that Holmes’ death is the same event described in a Naval Safety Center Marine Corps mishap summary that said a private first class was killed by a bulldozer while participating in an Integrated Training Exercise. Lodder said he could not release more details because the death is still under investigation.
Holmes enlisted in the Marine Corps in May and joined the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in October. According to a release, his personal decorations include the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Holmes was trained as a rifleman but had not yet been deployed.
He was a 2011 graduate of Chico High School, where he was a standout swimmer, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record.