British paratrooper injured in military training exercise

With one of the world’s most advanced and well trained militaries, you might think soldiers sustaining injuries during military training is not really a concern in the UK, but a recent case, and commentary from the Army, points to the contrary.

April 2015 saw hundreds of British servicemen from 16th Air Assault Brigade join their American comrades from the 82 Airborne Division at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, for a large-scale training program designed to prepare them for the largest airborne landing exercise undertaken by any military in the last 20 years.

A number of service personnel were injured during the course of the training – one; a British paratrooper seriously so when he collided with another soldier during a parachute jump, leading to him being knocked unconscious. He subsequently landed in a manner described by the military as “very badly”. Whilst the as-yet unnamed serviceman was not alone in sustaining an injury during the military training exercise, his are believed to be by far the most serious. An inquiry has been launched into the circumstances of the incident.

The injured serviceman is in fact joined by around 50 other soldiers who sustained injuries during the exercise, and whilst none of them were life-threatening around 10 British paratroopers and 40 Americans were treated at the base’s hospital for strains or broken bones. Commanders reached for comment indicated the rate of injury for such an exercise was fairly typical, with around 3-4% of troops expected to be injured during such exercises as they tackle an “element of risk” present in all such operations.

Commenting on this typical rate of injury during training, an Army spokesperson said:

“Personnel exiting an aircraft in flight carrying full combat equipment always involves an element of risk which is why precautions to minimise potential injuries are made, and were ahead of this exercise, which was the largest of its type since 1996.”

One senior officer also sought to emphasise British military prowess stating the UK as being one of only a handful of nations capable of undertaking an air assault operation of this sought, but in doing so highlighted the heightened risk of soldiers suffering army training injuries when preparing for such manoeuvres.

Commenting on the incidence and impact of military training injuries on those service personnel involved, Jason Brady, solicitor at Blackwater Law said:

“There is of course an element risk involved in military training exercises, as personnel are being trained to deal with dangerous and often life-threatening combat situations. However, the Army, Navy and RAF each have a duty to minimise the potential for accidents to occur during training exercises and taking reasonable steps to protect personnel from unnecessarily sustaining injuries. Where they do occur, they should have procedures in place to ensure appropriate timely care and treatment is given to the personnel affected.

“Often, Army, Navy and RAF personnel injured during training are not aware that they may be entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained.”

If you or a loved one have been injured in a military training exercise, call Blackwater Law today to speak to one of our specialist military injury compensation solicitors about the possibility of securing compensation for your army training injury. Call today on 0800 083 5500 and speak to one of the leading firms of personal injury solicitors in the country about securing military injury compensation or army injury compensation.