National Guardsman Killed, 3 Injured in Tank Rollover in Mojave Desert

The Opposing Force at the National Training Center goes on the offensive to conduct a force on force engagement on Nov. 5, 2012, in Fort Irwin, California. Getty Images
The Opposing Force at the National Training Center goes on the offensive to conduct a force on force engagement on Nov. 5, 2012, in Fort Irwin, California. Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- A Mississippi Army National Guardsman was killed and three others injured this week during a large-scale combat training exercise at a Mojave Desert training facility, according to military officials.

Sgt. Kyle Clayton Thomas and three other soldiers, who were assigned to the Senatobia, Mississippi-based 2nd Battalion, 198th Armored Regiment, were performing combat maneuver operations in a battle tank on Memorial Day at the Fort Irwin National Training Center, according to Lt. Col. Christian Patterson, a spokesman for the Mississippi Military Department.

During the training operation, the tank rolled over and killed Thomas, a 24-year-old Amory, Mississippi resident, he said.

The other soldiers were injured and airlifted to a nearby hospital. They have been released from the hospital, Patterson said.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Sgt. Thomas' family and friends," Col. Doug Ferguson, commander of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, said in a statement. "We have lost a valuable member of our team and this loss will be felt across the brigade."

The soldiers were members of a subordinate battalion within the Tupelo, Mississippi-based 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team. They were among 5,500 soldiers and sailors who were participating in the joint exercise designed to replicate real combat. The exercise, which runs from May 18 to June 15, includes insurgent and guerrilla scenarios.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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 This article is written by Veronica Rocha from The Los Angeles Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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