Live weapon training for Special Forces units in the US Army has been temporarily suspended following an unfortunate incident at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. During a training exercise, a soldier from the 1st Special Forces Group mistakenly discharged live rounds instead of blanks from an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), resulting in an injury to a member of the 7th Infantry Division. The injured soldier is currently receiving treatment at Madigan Army Medical Center and is in stable condition.

In response, the Army has initiated a comprehensive three-day safety stand-down affecting Special Forces, civil affairs, and psychological operations units. This stand-down includes the cancellation of all live weapons training sessions to conduct an internal assessment and review safety protocols. Major Russell Gordon, a spokesperson for the 1st Special Forces Command, stressed the seriousness of the situation, highlighting that the presence of live rounds in blank ammunition constitutes a significant safety violation.

The Army is actively investigating the incident to determine how live ammunition was introduced into the training exercise. Moreover, all units are required to inspect their arms rooms to ensure compliance with ammunition storage regulations. During the stand-down, noncommissioned officers will undergo additional training on ammunition handling and firearm safety. Additionally, a period of amnesty has been implemented for soldiers to return any improperly stored ammunition.

This safety pause comes after a previous stand-down in February, during which the Army National Guard grounded its helicopters following safety concerns stemming from two AH-64 Apache helicopter crashes.


*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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