WAINWRIGHT — A lieutenant-colonel has been killed in a vehicular accident during a training exercise on a northern Alberta military base.
Military officials confirm Lt.-Col. Dan Bobbitt died when a light armoured vehicle rolled over during a training mission for Exercise Maple Resolve 2014 at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright. Bobbitt was commanding officer of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based in Garrison Petawawa, Ontario. Two others soldiers in the LAV III were taken by military helicopter to hospital in Edmonton, where their condition is listed as fair. Two others who were injured were treated by Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel at the base and have been released.
All four of the injured soldiers were also members of the Ontario regiment.
Military officials wouldn’t reveal any other details of the accident, which happened about 11 a.m. on Wednesday, saying the investigation is ongoing.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lt.-Col. Bobbitt and the injured soldiers and they can be assured that the Canadian Army will provide the best support possible in their time of need,” said Brig.-Gen. Omer Lavoie, commander of the 4th Canadian Division.
“The Canadian Army cares deeply for each and every member,” said Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army.
“It goes without saying that we take every death seriously and as such we will explore all facets of these situations to try and learn from them while also providing the best support to the army family whenever a death does occur.”
Condolences were also extended by Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones as they deal with this tragic loss, and with the families of the four soldiers who were seriously injured.”
About 5,000 military personnel are taking part in Exercise Maple Resolve until June 1.
The military describes it as the largest such exercise being held this year and calls it a “culminating collective training event to validate both of the Canadian Army’s High Readiness task forces.”
The training includes tactical moves, deliberate attacks, mobile defence and assistance to non-governmental organizations.
Besides 4,000 Canadian soldiers, there are also troops from the Royal Canadian Air Force, the U.S. military and 100 soldiers from the United Kingdom.