A soldier from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, taking part in live fire exercises this week during which a soldier was shot. Picture: Supplied
A soldier from the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, taking part in live fire exercises this week during which a soldier was shot. Picture: Supplied

Young Australian soldier killed in training exercise

DARWIN Defence personnel are in shock following the death of a young comrade who was killed in a training exercise at Mount Bundey Military Training Area, south of Darwin, on Wednesday.

Members of the NT Police Major Crime Unit and Forensics have been sent to Mount Bundey to investigate.

Police confirmed the soldier, believed to be aged in his 20s, was medevaced to Royal Darwin Hospital. Doctors at the hospital were unable to save his life. It is believed he sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

It is unclear if anyone from the US Marine Corps rotation was on site at the time of the incident. "At this stage we have no further details," police said.

It is the second death of an Australian soldier during a military training exercise within the space of a week.

A Sunshine Coast man was killed in a freak ­accident during an Army exercise at Shoalwater Bay. 

Stuart Reddan, 21, died when a tree branch fell on him while he was a ­passenger in an armoured ­personnel carrier at Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton on Thursday.

Late on Wednesday night, Defence said: "It is with regret that Defence confirms the death of an Australian Army soldier in the Mount Bundey Training Area near Darwin, Northern Territory, at approximately 12.45pm local time on Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

"The soldier was taking part in a routine training activity at the time of the incident. He received immediate first aid at the scene and was transported to the Royal Darwin Hospital for treatment. The soldier was subsequently pronounced deceased. The soldier's next of kin has been notified and is being supported by the Army.

Australian soldiers during a live-fire training exercise at Mount Bundey. File
Australian soldiers during a live-fire training exercise at Mount Bundey. File

"The Army and ADF community extends its deepest sympathies to the soldier's family and friends. It is a deep shock to the organisation and will be felt by the broader Army family.

"The Chief of Army and Army commanders acknowledge the gravity of this and recent incidents and take all matters relating to personnel and training very seriously.

"As such, Army has instigated a suspension of training activities across its combat brigades to review risk assessment processes and training safety management.

"Defence will not be releasing any information relating to the soldier's personal or service history at this time. Northern Territory Police are investigating the incident and will prepare a report for the Northern Territory Coroner. The ADF are assisting police in their inquiries. Defence requests that the media respect the family's privacy at this very difficult time."

Darwin-based Defence personnel are expected to be briefed this morning about the death of their comrade.

The Mount Bundey Training Area is 75km southeast of Humpty Doo. 

The Mount Bundey Training Area is 75km southeast of Humpty Doo, south of the Arnhem Highway, between the Mary River and Kakadu National Park.

Previously a cattle station, the property was acquired as a training area in 1988.

United States and Singaporean forces both conduct joint tank exercises with Australian forces at Mount Bundey, which also features an Urban Operations Training Facility constructed in 2005.

The training facility has been heavily used by the US Marine Air Ground Task Force since its first deployment in 2012.

News Corp Australia

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