The Marine Corps is relieving a two-star general of his duties in connection with an assault amphibious vehicle accident last year that left nine service members dead, the military said Wednesday.
The incident, which took place off California’s San Clemente Island on July 30, was described as the worst amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) accident in Marine Corps history.
Maj. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, who was suspended in April from his new position as the Marine Corps inspector general, was the former commanding general of 1st Marine Division, which was in charge of the AAV platoon when their landing craft sank during the exercise, according to reports.
“The commandant [Gen. David Berger] took adverse administration action against [Castellvi],” the Corps said in a statement, according to Stars and Stripes. “The commandant personally and formally counseled him for his failure to properly train the Marines and sailors for whom he was entrusted and for the inadequate evaluation of the AAV platoon before it was attached to the 15th MEU.”
An investigation published in March found that human and mechanical failures caused the sinking of the AAV. It said that inadequate training of troops, inadequate maintenance of the 35-year-old AAV and poor judgment by commanders contributed to the tragedy.
“Contributing factors included lack of training, the material condition of the AAVs assigned to 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, lack of safety boats in the water, a higher-than-anticipated sea state, and insufficient buoyancy provided by personal flotation devices at depth,” the Marine Corps said in a statement about the findings.