South Korea-Based Soldier Dies 10 Days After ‘Medical Incident’ During Water Survival Training



CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — A 2nd Infantry Division soldier has died after suffering a “medical incident” during combat water survival training, the command announced Thursday.

Spc. Brandon Martinez, 25, of Mesa, Ariz., died Saturday at Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital, 10 days after the June 9 incident at Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Vandal Training Center, a statement said. He was a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist assigned to 4th CBRN Company, 23rd CBRN Battalion who joined 2nd ID’s sustainment brigade on July 13.

Spokespeople for the 2nd ID could not be reached Thursday evening for more information about the medical incident or specifics about the training.

Military units stationed at Humphreys train air and groundcrews on how to escape and survive in aquatic environments. The base’s water survival course includes special equipment to simulate a helicopter that’s been downed in the water.

“We are saddened by the loss of our teammate,” Martinez’ battalion commander, Lt. Col. Brian Sansom, said in the statement. “Spc. Martinez always set a fine example for our soldiers through his professionalism, teamwork, and work ethic.”

Sansom added: “We will miss Spc. Martinez dearly, and he will never be forgotten.”

Martinez enlisted on Sept. 23, 2019, according to the statement, and later completed the Army’s Ranger Assessment and Selection Program at Fort Benning, Ga.

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