Navy Officer In Explosives Unit Dies During Training Exercise

Aaron S. Patterson/U.S. Marine Corps/Handout via REUTERS

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A junior Navy officer died during a training exercise Sunday at a Marine base in Hawaii.

Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler, 29, was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One in San Diego, according to a Wednesday press release from the Navy. He became unresponsive during a training evolution with the Marine Corps at the Marine Corps Base in Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii, the release continued.

Fowler was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the incident is currently under investigation by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Hawaii’s local authorities, the release noted. (RELATED: US Military Aircraft Crashes During NATO Training Exercises In Norway)

“Our deepest sympathies go out to Aaron’s family and friends, and we join them in remembering and mourning this brave warrior. His decision to join this elite special operations community was a testament to the dedicated and selfless character he embodied and his legacy will endure in our ranks through those he inspired by his service,” Rear Adm. Joseph Diguardo, Jr., commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, said in the release.

Fowler was reportedly in the last phase of the eight-week Marine Corps Reconnaissance Leaders Course, according to NavyTimes.

Tributes to Fowler have poured in online. Republican congressional candidate Erin Cruz wrote, “Our prayers go out to the family of Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler who died in a training exercise event in Hawaii. Thank you for your service and God Speed.”