Spanish corporal killed during live-fire exercise that included US and NATO forces

A mortar tube accidentally explodes July 2, 2013, during an Afghan National Army (ANA) live-fire training exercise in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. The accident killed U.S. Army Spc. Hilda I. Clayton and four ANA soldiers. (U.S. ARMY SPC. HILDA I. CLAYTON)

A Spanish corporal was killed during NATO’s Saber Strike exercise at the Bemowo Piske range in Poland, military sources report.

The incident happened during a live-fire tactical exercise and involved a mortar explosion.

The Spanish Army’s press service confirmed the accident, and condolences were expressed by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S√°nchez and Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz.

The corporal in question was originally from Ecuador and was 43 years of age and had been serving since 2004.

Another soldier was reported to be injured and may lose hearing in one of his ears.

According to SUR, the unfortunate event comes amid a series of recent accidents during military training exercises, particularly in Poland.

In early March, a tracked vehicle ran over two soldiers at a NATO exercise in Poland, resulting in their deaths. Other incidents in late March involved two sappers from the 5th Tarnowski Chemical Regiment who died in a TNT explosion during an exercise and another Polish soldier who died from an avalanche during a mountain exercise.

The Polish Defense Ministry decided to stop all military exercises involving explosives and military equipment after these incidents.

This fatality coincided with larger NATO exercises designed to test the alliance’s readiness against threats like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Steadfast Defender operation, which includes the Saber Strike exercise, is NATO’s largest since the Cold War, involving around 90,000 troops from all NATO countries.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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