Marine Corps identifies Marines and sailor presumed dead after amphibious assault vehicle accident - Task & Purpose

Marine Corps identifies Marines and sailor presumed dead after amphibious assault vehicle accident

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The Marines involved in the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) accident on July 30 were identified on Sunday, including the one Marine who was killed. 

Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene before he was transported to a San Diego hospital, according to a press release from I Marine Expeditionary Force. 

Perez, from New Braunfels, Texas, was assigned to Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT), 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. 

In total, 16 Marines were on the AAV when they reported "taking on water" on July 30 around 5:45 p.m., the press release said. 

Five Marines were rescued and eight others are presumed dead. 

The Marines and sailor assigned to Bravo Company who are presumed dead are:

  • Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California. 
  • Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California. 
  • Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. 
  • U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California. 
  • Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon. 
  • Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas. 
  • Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon. 
  • Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, or Riverside, California. 

Two Marines were injured — a rifleman with Bravo Company who was in critical condition, and an AAV crew member with Mechanized Company who has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.

The search-and-rescue efforts by the 15th MEU were concluded on Sunday after 40 hours; officials then turned to recovery efforts. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger tweeted on Sunday that the decision was made "after all resources were exhausted." 

Berger suspended the use of AAVs in water on Friday in an effort to determine what caused the vehicle to sink. The incident is still under investigation