A soldier based at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa in Ontario has died following an incident with a LAV III vehicle while training at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright in Alberta, according to the Department of National Defence (DND).
A statement from DND on Tuesday confirmed Sgt. Robert J. Dynerowicz from the Royal Canadian Dragoons died of his injuries and said three other soldiers were also injured while Canadian Army personnel were participating in “Exercise RUGGED BEAR” at around 10 a.m. DND later confirmed a LAV III vehicle was involved.
The LAV III, as it’s known in the army, has been involved in more than a dozen rollovers since it was introduced in 1999, including several accidents in Afghanistan that resulted in at least five fatalities.
A spokesperson for DND said Dynerowicz, an armoured crewman, had been with the military since 2005 and had twice been deployed to Afghanistan over the course of his military career.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Dynerowicz in Wainwright, Alta.,” Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk said in a statement. “Not only is his death a painful loss to his family and friends, but we feel this loss across the Canadian Army and the entire military community.
“Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond and I extend our sincere condolences, on behalf of all ranks of the Canadian Army, to the family and friends of Sgt. Dynerowicz.”
DND said the other three people injured were taken to hospital but did not reveal the extent of their injuries.
According to a spokesperson, all four soldiers were travelling in the same light-armoured vehicle. Two of the injured were treated and released while a third remains in hospital.
A military police investigation is now underway and training has been suspended. However, a spokesperson said training was expected to resume after a commander speaks to soldiers on Wednesday morning.
According to DND, “Exercise RUGGED BEAR” is a “key live-fire training event for the Canadian Army’s Road to High Readiness training program.
The training program began on April 15 and is scheduled to end on April 27.
According to the Canadian Armed Forces, “Exercise RUGGED BEAR” involves 3,000 soldiers from 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from Petawawa and sees them “fine-tune their soldiering skills” in order to certify that the soldiers have achieved “the necessary Battle Task Standard.”
“Exercise RUGGED BEAR” is seen as a prerequisite for “Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 17” which is set to take place in Wainwright in May.
“The Road to High Readiness is the Canadian Army’s rigorous training regime that prepares soldiers for national or expeditionary deployments, as mandated by the Government of Canada,” the Canadian Armed Forces’ website says. “The goal of the training is to generate a competent, confident and integrated Army brigade group that can provide scalable, mission-tailored and responsive forces for full-spectrum operations.”
The soldiers are being trained under the Task Force Tomahawk banner as part of the training for missions in Iraq, Ukraine and Latvia and once training is completed, the Canadian Armed Forces says “Task Force Tomahawk will be prepared to undertake any other mission as directed by the Government of Canada.”
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“During this exercise, soldiers will be trained to a combat team standard,” the military says on its website. “Combat team configurations can vary, but traditionally consist of a company of mechanized infantry soldiers in light armoured vehicles accompanied by a squadron of tanks and other enablers such as engineers or artillery.”