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2 Soldiers Dead, 20 Service Members Injured in 3 Training Accidents

by Phil McCausland and Courtney Kube /  / Updated 
Image: Fort Bragg Home To U.S. Army Airborne
A sign outside Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2004.Logan Mock-Bunting / Getty Images file

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Two soldiers were killed and more than 20 other service members were injured in three training accidents on separate military installations this week.

The Army said a soldier died Thursday and seven others were injured during a special operations training exercise gone wrong at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, died during the Special Forces Qualification Course at the Army's John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command, or USASOC, which is investigating. The incident occurring during demolitions training, it said.

The injured were moved to multiple hospitals by air and ground, it said.

"The special operations community is a close-knit family," said Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, commander of the school. "Staff Sgt. Dalida's death is a reminder that a Soldier's job is inherently dangerous. Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Dalida's family and friends."

The injured suffered a varying degree of wounds, and it wasn't immediately clear whether any were life-threatening.

Dalida, who enlisted in the Army in September 2006, was enrolled in the Special Forces Engineer Course, the specialization program of the Special Forces Qualification Course.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he was praying for all those involved.

More than 1,000 miles away, officials at Fort Riley, Kansas, on Thursday identified Staff Sgt. Sean Devoy, 28, as the soldier who died late Tuesday during medevac training at Fort Hood, Texas. He had been a member of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley and died while training with a Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter.

"We extend our heartfelt condolences to Staff Sgt. Sean Devoy’s family and friends during this difficult time," Lt. Col. Khirsten T. Schwenn, commander of the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, said in a statement. "The unexpected death of a family member is profoundly tragic. Staff Sgt. Devoy touched countless lives as a flight paramedic. We are deeply saddened by the loss of an extraordinary noncommissioned officer and teammate."

Devoy, a Missouri native, enlisted in the Army in March 2010 and served in Afghanistan as a combat medic in 2011, 2013 and 2016. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, 14 Marines and a sailor were injured Wednesday when an amphibious assault vehicle caught fire during a land-based training exercise at Camp Pendleton, California, according to the 1st Marine Division. All were receiving medical care at area hospitals.

It remained unclear Thursday whether their conditions were life-threatening.

The incident was described as an accident and was under investigation by Marine officials.

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