The Washington Post

General faces action over tank sinking


The Marine Corps is relieving a general of his duties for failing to properly train Marines and sailors and evaluate the platoon before an exercise last summer when their seafaring tank sank off the Southern California coast, killing nine troops, the military announced Wednesday.

The training incident 70 miles off San Diego was one of the deadliest for the Marines in recent years. Leaders said it could have been prevented.

The commandant of the Marine Corps met personally with Maj. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, the former commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, who has been suspended since April from his position as inspector general of the Marine Corps.

An investigat­ion by the maritime branch found the incident July 30 off San Clemente Island was caused by inadequate training, shabby maintenanc­e of the 35-year-old amphibious assault vehicles and poor judgment by commanders.

The investigat­ion found the troops had not received appropriat­e instructio­n on escaping the amphibious assault vehicle quickly, and the unit had not completed a required evaluation meant to address any issues before the exercise.

Castellvi was the commanding general of the 1st Marine Division, of Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, during the exercise. He became Marine Corps inspector general several weeks after the incident.

Action was taken against 11 other Marine officials who were previously removed from their jobs or otherwise discipline­d.

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