Military relieves general of duties, cites AAV sinking near San Clemente Island

Polaris MRZR D4 | Amphibious Assault Vehicle Integration
Posted at 12:45 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 15:47:06-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Marine Corps says it's relieving a general of his duties for failing to properly train Marines and sailors and evaluate the platoon before an exercise last summer when their seafaring tank sank off the Southern California coast.

The training accident killed nine troops off the coast of San Clemente Island last year, making it one of the deadliest for the Marines in recent years.

Leaders say it could have been prevented.

The commandant of the Marine Corps met personally with Maj. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, the former Commanding General of 1st Marine Division. Castellvi has been suspended since April from his position as Inspector General of the Marine Corps.


Hal Kempfer, a retired Marine Lt. Colonel with a background in intelligence and amphibious reconnaissance, told ABC 10News last year that one of the most difficult operations in the military is amphibious operations.

"There is an inherent danger because every once in a while those things will take on water and if they do you've got a lot of marines trapped in a vehicle and it's going to be very difficult to get everyone out safely," Kempfer said. "We train like we fight an obviously like its very nature the armed forces is a very dangerous business that's what we do."