Training Mishap

A training mishap at Joint Base Lewis-McChord resulted in a soldier being wounded last month when live rounds were accidentally mixed with blanks, the Army reported on Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Jennifer Bocanegra, an Army spokesperson at Lewis-McChord, the Army and Air Force base located south of Tacoma, Washington, stated,

“The injured soldier was admitted to Madigan Army Medical Center and is in stable condition.”

Injured by a SAW Round

The training event on April 25 involved the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the 7th Infantry Division, both stationed at Lewis-McChord. The soldier sustained injuries from a live round fired from an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

In training exercises, blank rounds are used to simulate the firing of live rounds without the presence of a bullet. However, live rounds contain a bullet, posing a serious risk when mixed with blanks.

Immediate Stand Down Ordered

Maj. Russell Gordon, a public affairs officer for the 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, announced a 72-hour stand-down for all ranges using live and blank ammunition. The 1st Special Forces Command, headquartered in North Carolina, oversees units across various bases, including Lewis-McChord. This stand-down applies to all units under the command.

Subordinate units began a 24-hour amnesty period to turn in any improperly stored ammunition, followed by a thorough inventory of all ammunition storage locations.