'Get out, get out, get out...' - New details in Marine AAV sinking | Military Times Reports

Marines are training in seafaring amphibious assault vehicles for the first time since nine men died when one of the troop carriers sank off the southern California coast during an exercise in 2020.

The Marine Corps’ AAV fleet was suspended from all water training following the deadly accident July 30, 2020, near San Clemente Island, California.

The Orange County Register reported Saturday that Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, first resumed exercises in water recovery and troop transfers — without troops.

On April 13, the Marines trained on land-based water recovery and troop transfer, and later drove the vehicles in the Del Mar boat basin. Training also included “a review of lessons learned from the July tragedy as well as from previous AAV accidents,” according to the Register.

Using the armored vehicles to transport troops from a ship to shore and back – what the AAV that sank in 2020 was doing – is still prohibited, the newspaper said.

An April 9 directive allowing some training with the vehicles comes with a checklist of tasks that have to be completed to confirm training, inspections and other preparation protocols are met, said Marine spokesman Capt. Andrew Wood.

The Marines were “briefed on updates to standard operating procedures for the vehicle and were required to pass a knowledge test before being authorized to participate in water operations,” The Orange County Register reported.

A Marine Corps command investigation has said the accident was caused by inadequate training, shabby maintenance of the amphibious assault vehicles and poor judgment by commanders.

A Naval Safety Center investigation has not yet been completed.

In early April the Marine Corps announced it was starting another investigation triggered by the accident, looking into “the facts and circumstances surrounding the forming of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.”

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger is being called on by Congress May 3 to answer for the Corps’ safety record.

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