Technician's Death Sparks Equipment and Training Investigation

Washington, D.C. the death of Army National Guard EOD Specialist James Slape, who was killed in October from an IED, has reportedly caused the Army National Guard to open an investigation into whether or not training and equipment needs were sufficient for his unit.

Lt. Col. Wesley A. Parmer, a spokesman for the National Guard, said that the Army National Guard had started an investigation "into the training and equipping of the 430th EOD Company for their mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan." He provided no further details on the investigation.

Although no details have been officially provided about the scope of the investigation, other news sources have reported that the 430th repeatedly asked for, but did not receive, certain training courses and equipment before its deployment that are considered standard. One such piece of equipment that the 430th reportedly asked for and did not receive was an advanced hand-held detector (type not reported). However, it is unclear whether having that requested detector would have saved his life.

Maj. Gen. Troy D. Galloway, deputy commanding general of the National Guard at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is leading the investigation.

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