JBLM soldier killed in California training accident

Staff writerJune 22, 2014 

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier was killed Saturday in an accident at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

The Army on Sunday declined to say how Pfc. Andrew Sass, 23, of Fremont, N.C. died. The accident is under investigation.

Sass joined the Army in May 2013 and served with JBLM’s 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

The brigade, known as the Lancers, is spending about a month at the National Training Center practicing large-scale maneuvers in the Mojave Desert.

“[This is] a true loss to the Lancer team. He was a husband, warrior, and true friend to all. He will be missed, but we will not forget him,” said Brigade Commander Col. Louis Zeisman.

Exercises at the National Training Center typically involve some live-fire drills followed by a war-game scenario in which large numbers of soldiers battle against a fictional enemy. Soldiers do not use live weapons during the war games.

The 2nd Brigade last went to the National Training Center in the fall of 2011 as it prepared for a 2012 deployment to Afghanistan. One of its soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Huntley, was killed in a vehicle accident during the training.

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