Marines killed in accident on Camp Pendleton identified

CAMP PENDLETON – Four Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines were killed in an explosion at approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, during range maintenance operations to dispose of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the Zulu impact area aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

One Navy Hospital Corpsman and two Marines nearby were released after receiving medical treatment at the scene.

The names of the deceased Marines are:

Staff Sgt. Mathew R. Marsh, 28, of Long Beach, Calif., was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps in July 2003, and was promoted to his current rank in May 2009.

Marsh’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He deployed twice to Iraq in 2005 and 2008 and twice to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012 as a team leader.

Gunnery Sgt. Gregory J. Mullins, 31, of Bayou L’Ourse, La., was the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps in March 2002, and was promoted to his current rank in February 2013. Mullins’ awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He deployed twice to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a team leader.

Sgt. Miguel Ortiz, 27, of Vista, Calif., was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps in March 2006, and was promoted to his current rank in November 2009. Ortiz’s awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, two Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2007, to the Western Pacific in 2008 and to Afghanistan in 2012.

Staff Sgt. Eric W. Summers, 32, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon, Airfield Operations Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, stationed aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. He joined the Marine Corps in July 2000, and was promoted to his current rank in October 2010. Summers’ awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan. He deployed to Kuwait in 2003, Iraq in 2004 and three times to Afghanistan in 2009, 2011 and 2012 as a team leader.

The Zulu impact area is used for firing explosive munitions such as grenades, mortars, artillery and rockets and for dropping munitions from aircraft. While live-fire training was ongoing at the adjacent Whiskey impact area, there was no live-fire training being conducted Wednesday in the Zulu area.

“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines we lost yesterday. Explosive Ordnance Disposal is a small and tight-knit community, not just in the Marine Corps, but in the entire US military. Our focus now is on ensuring these families receive the help and support they need,” said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations West – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

(previous story)

Four Marines killed in accident on Camp Pendleton

Debbie Ramsey

Managing Editor

A press release was issued by Camp Pendleton stating that four Marines lost their lives in an accident on base today.

“A fatal incident occurred at approximately 11 a.m. (Wed., Nov. 13) during a range maintenance operation aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton that killed four Marines,” it stated. “The identities of the deceased Marines will be announced 24 hours after next of kin notification.”

“We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the families of the Marines lost today in this tragic accident,” said Brig. Gen. John W. Bullard, commanding general, Marine Corps Installations West – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “Our first priority is to provide the families with the support they need during this difficult time.

Officials said the cause of the accident “is currently under investigation and more information will be provided as it becomes available.”

One Response to "Marines killed in accident on Camp Pendleton identified"

  1. Lee   November 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

    How utterly sad!

    Reply

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