THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1995, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Wednesday, August 23, 1995 TAG: 9508230503 SECTION: FRONT PAGE: A13 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: ASSOCIATED PRESS DATELINE: EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, FLA. LENGTH: Short : 37 lines
The Army said it is overhauling its training regulations, six months after four Ranger trainees died from exposure they suffered in a chilly Florida swamp.
The Army said it is dropping night water training and will provide trainees with more sleep and food before sending them into the swamps for up to two weeks. Also, instructors will have to wade through the areas themselves before sending in their students.
``We haven't made it less tough. It is still a challenging course,'' Col. Galen Jackman, commander of the Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Ga., said Monday.
Had the rules been in effect before, the deaths might have been prevented, he said.
In February, four trainees died from hypothermia after slogging through chest-deep water in a chilly swamp during the last days of their two-month training program.
Their commanders were not aware how deep and cold recent flooding of the Yellow and Shoal rivers had made the water. In some cases the water was about 50 degrees and up to the heads of the trainees.
Jackman also said the training sites were so large that instructors were unfamiliar with the dangerously deep water into which they sent trainees.
Also announced Monday were plans for a monument to the four soldiers, as well as to three others who died in past training accidents. by CNB