Two soldiers were killed and six more were injured in an incident involving a military vehicle and group formation on Fort Jackson in South Carolina on Friday. All of the injured soldiers were evacuated to a nearby civilian hospital where two remain in critical condition.
According to a statement made by Pat Jones of the Fort Jackson Public Affairs Office, a vehicle collided with the soldiers who were in formation at approximately 1600 local time. What type of military vehicle was involved in the incident, however, has yet to be released. The names of the killed and injured soldiers are also currently being withheld, pending family notifications.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the soldiers we lost today and to the families of the injured, they represent the best of our Nation and we will endeavor to support all those affected through this difficult time,” U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson said in a statement.
Congressmen Joe Wilson, whose district includes the Fort Jackson facility that lies just outside of Columbia, South Carolina, also released a statement regarding the incident on Twitter Friday evening.
“Roxanne and I are deeply saddened by the news that two brave soldiers lost their lives at Fort Jackson,” Wilson said. “We are forever grateful for their sacrifices — and those of their families. We ask that everyone keep the six service members who sustained injuries in their thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.”
This incident comes on the heels of the tragic death of four soldiers in Niger earlier this week. Three Special Forces soldiers were killed in an ambush that took place Wednesday night, with a fourth soldier, who has yet to be identified, found dead 48 hours after the battle. He had previously been considered missing in action.
Fort Jackson is primarily a training facility, and serves as the U.S. Army’s primary Basic Combat Training hub. Approximately fifty percent of all graduates of the Army’s Basic Combat Training course come through Fort Jackson. All told, more than 36,000 soldiers receive basic combat training on Fort Jackson per year, with an additional 8,000 completing the Army’s advanced individual training during the same period of time.
The facility is home to the U.S. Army Soldier Support Institute, the Armed Forces Army Chaplaincy Center and School and the National Center for Credibility Assessment (formerly the Department of Defense Polygraph Institute). It is also home to the U.S. Army’s Drill Sergeant School, training both active and reserve drill sergeants.
Image courtesy of the U.S. Army