Friday, July 19

Soldier killed during RAF weapons range training



One member of the armed forces has been killed during a training exercise at RAF Tain, police have confirmed.

Police Scotland said officers were called to the air weapons range near Inverness, Scotland, at around 5.55pm on Tuesday to an incident involving multiple service members.

Police and the Scottish Ambulance Service attended to find one person had been fatally injured, the force said.

The victim, whose next of kin have been informed, was a member of the Army, it was confirmed.

A Police Scotland spokesman said there were no other fatalities but did not reveal how many soldiers had been injured.

He added: “Police Scotland is leading the investigation to establish the full circumstances of this incident and is working closely with the armed forces.

“This was a contained incident and there was no threat to the public.”

A cordon was set up around the base on the Dornoch Firth, in Easter Ross, while authorities dealt with the incident.

The training facility is used by the RAF and the Army. It has a rifle range, a small arms range as well as bombing ranges.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We will release more information as and when it becomes available. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this point.”

The Tain range is used by tri-service, US Air Force and other Nato air forces for bombing and strafing practice.

It has 18 separate targets suitable for a variety of weapons and different delivery methods.

Typhoons and Tornados from RAF Lossiemouth are the main air users of the range.

Tain is also responsible for Cape Wrath Range near the village of Durness.

Both ranges employ a number of civilian contracted workers who manage the estate, assist in the control tower, target score and deal with ordnance clearance from the range.

The incident comes a little more than two months after a soldier was shot dead during a live-firing exercise at the Otterburn Training Area in Northumberland.

Private Conor McPherson, 24, a member of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, sustained a serious head wound on August 22.

And just over a month before Private McPherson’s death a soldier died on a training exercise on what was the hottest day of the year in Brecon, south Wales.

Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was on pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on July 19.

The 26-year-old member of The Rifles regiment collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centre at about 6.30am.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding both earlier deaths.