Marine Officer Blames Bad Information For Sinking Tragedy

FILE - In this July 31, 2020, file photo, the U.S. flag is seen lowered to half-staff at Park Semper Fi in San Clemente, Calif., after a seafaring assault vehicle sank off the coast of Southern California. A Marine Corps panel convenes Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, to decide if an officer should be discharged over the sinking of the amphibious assault vehicle that killed nine service members. (Paul Bersebach/The Orange County Register via AP, File)

(AP) — A Marine Corps battalion commander has testified that in retrospect he would have halted the exercise that killed nine of his Marines whose amphibious assault vehicle sank off the Southern California coast in 2020. But at the time Lt. Col. Michael J. Regner said his decisions were based in part on what other commanders told him. One commander told him the Marines had completed their swim certifications, though they had not. Regner said he was also assured the aging vehicles they were in had been fixed and were ready for the mission. The government says he ignored red flags. Regner gave his account Friday at a Board of Inquiry that will decide whether he should be considered for discharge.


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