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Soldier Charged For Humvees Falling Out Of A Plane Goes To Court-Martial

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Army Sgt. John Skipper is going to court-martial after being charged in connection with Humvees plummeting out of an aircraft to the ground.

The charges of destroying government property and making a false official statement prompted Brig. Gen. Tony Aguto to court-martial Skipper, Stars and Stripes reported.

Skipper, assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, was finally charged in May after an incident in April 2016 which occurred at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany. During the Saber Junction training exercise, three Humvees were dropped from an aircraft and plummeted straight to the ground, as their parachutes did not properly deploy. The parachutes for 150 other bundles deployed without incident. Although three Humvees smashed into the ground, no one was injured. Each Humvee can cost as much as $220,000.

The video of the disaster has been viewed on YouTube well over a million times, and shows a sergeant first class laughing at the Humvees dropping. This sergeant first class has received an administrative letter of reprimand.

“The reprimand addressed the unprofessional comments the soldier made during the video, and the fact that he shared the video with others, which resulted in it being posted to social media by an unknown individual,” said Christian Marquardt, a spokesman for 7th ATC’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center.

It’s unclear whether authorities believe Skipper was intentionally or unintentionally negligent in connection with the parachute training mishap. Destruction of government property is an offense, according to Article 108 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If the offense is willful, Skipper could be sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison and receive a dishonorable discharge, in addition to forfeiture of all pay. If the destruction is deemed negligent, the prison sentence is set at a maximum of one year, which also includes a bad-conduct discharge.

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