Two Marines Shot During Live-Fire Drill; One in Serious Condition

U.S. Marines engage targets as a squad during a live fire range as part of Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-18 aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., May 2, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Antonia E. Mercado)
U.S. Marines engage targets as a squad during a live fire range as part of Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-18 aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., May 2, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Antonia E. Mercado)

Marine Corps officials said two Marines suffered small-arms gunshot wounds yesterday during a live-fire exercise at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California.

The Marines from the 1st Marine Division's 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, stationed at Twentynine Palms, were participating in maneuver-under-fire training, according to a May 7 statement from the 1st Marine Division.

Both Marines were evacuated by air ambulance to be treated for their injuries. One Marine remains hospitalized in serious condition; the other was released from the hospital, according to the statement.

The Marine Corps is "investigating the circumstances of the accident" but did not give any more details about the injuries the Marines sustained, according to the statement.

"Military training is an inherently dangerous task and the 1st Marine Division takes every precaution to ensure the safety of our training," the statement said. "Our commitment is to ensure that our training is as safe as possible. The training we conduct ensures our readiness to respond to any task we are assigned."

It's the second time in two years that Marines have been injured during live-fire training at 29 Palms. In January 2017, one Marine, Lance Cpl. Austin Ruiz, was killed and another critically injured during a training accident.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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