Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Lt. Col. Michael Regner, commander of a Marine Corps battalion in which nine Marines died in a July training accident, was relieved of command.
I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, Calif., announced the change on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it was "due to a loss in trust and confidence in his ability to command as a result of the amphibious assault vehicle mishap."
Eight men of B Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit died when an amphibious assault vehicle carrying 16 people sank in water 385 feet deep off San Clemente Island, Calif., as it returned to the transport dock ship USS Somerset. One Marine, pulled from the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lt. Gen. Karsten S. Heckl, I MEF commander, made the decision to relieve Regner as an investigation continues.
Regner, an infantry officer with several combat tours of Fallujah, Iraq, and Oruzgan and Kandahar, Afghanistan, as well as leadership positions in Okinawa and Camp Fuji, Japan, and Camp Mujuk, South Korea, assumed command of the battalion in January 2019.