Fort Riley Soldier Dies After Training Accident

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

FORT IRWIN, Ca. (WIBW) -- Fort Riley officials confirm that a soldier was fatally injured during a training exercise at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Specialist Robert Sonnenburg III, 26, of Turner, Oregon, was part of a group of several thousand Fort Riley soldiers assigned to tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles who trained at the nearly 1,000-square- mile NTC last month.

Sonnenburg was injured on February 20, 2013 while training with 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.

He was evacuated to Las Vegas University Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries on February, 22, 2013, according to Jason Roberts, a representative with the 1st Infantry Division’s Public Affairs Office.

Roberts could not provide any details on Sonnenburg’s injuries or how he sustained the life-threatening wounds.

A team from U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center is leading the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Sonnenburg was a 19-D Cavalry Scout with Troop C, 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. He joined the Army in January 2010 and was deployed in November 2010 for a year in Iraq.

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team just returned to Fort Riley from month-long round of training at NTC. Fort Irwin hosts combat units from around the country for training which can include exercises with live ammunition and large-scale tank warfare.

The soldiers are honing their combat skills and preparing for their assignment as the Army’s first Regionally Aligned Force.

Regionally aligned forces are Army units tasked to train, mentor and collaborate with partner nation security forces.

Select elements of the "Dagger" Brigade are set to deploy to Africa where their mission will be to advise, train and assist.

The brigade is the first Army unit to receive this mission, which will include language, regional expertise and culture training, Fort Riley officials explained.


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