Army Guard clears itself in investigation of EOD unit’s alleged shortfalls prior to soldier’s combat death

The Army National Guard has cleared itself in an investigation into whether one of its bomb disposal units was properly trained and equipped prior to a deployment to Afghanistan during which one of its soldiers was killed in action while sweeping for improvised explosive devices.

Sgt. James Slape, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with the North Carolina National Guard’s 430th Ordnance Company, died Oct. 4, 2018.

He was killed in Helmand province as he cleared around a MaxxPro truck that had been immobilized by an IED earlier in the day. He was using a counter-IED hand-held device to try to extract six soldiers still inside, according to copies of award citations previously obtained by Army Times.

Shortly after Slape’s death, The New York Times, citing documents it obtained, reported that his unit had repeatedly requested better equipment and training but were denied both due to a lack of funds.

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Source: Military Times