Lance Corporal Joe Spencer: Soldier shot dead at Highland military base

Thurs 3rd Nov 2016

Soldier shot dead at Highland military base named

A soldier who died after being shot dead at a Highland military base has today been named.

Lance Corporal Joe Spencer, from 3rd Battalion The Rifle, died at RAF Tain on Tuesday.

It is understood that LCpl Spencer was killed during a routine training exercise at the Highland range.

The Press and Journal revealed yesterday how 30 detectives were working on establishing the circumstances around the young soldier’s death. 

The Tain range is used by tri-service, US Air Force and other NATO air forces for bombing and strafing practice. It has 18 separate targets suitable for a variety of weapons and different delivery methods. Typhoons and Tornados from RAF Lossiemouth are the main air users of the range. Tain is also responsible for Cape Wrath Range near the village of Durness.

Both ranges employ a number of civilian contracted workers who manage the estate, assist in the control tower, target score and deal with ordnance clearance from the range. This latest incident comes just three months after a Black Watch soldier was killed in a training exercise in England.

Conor McPherson, 24, had travelled from his base at Fort George, near Ardersier, to take part in Operation Wessex Storm south of the border. But private McPherson was shot in the head during a live firing exercise at Otterburn in Northumberland.

Just over a month before his death a soldier died on a training exercise in Brecon, south Wales. Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on July 19.

The 26-year-old collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centrePolice are investigating the circumstances surrounding both earlier deaths. Press & Journal 


Lance Corporal Joe Spencer from 3rd Battalion The Rifles, who has been named as the serviceman who died during a training exercise Lance corporal Joe Spencer died during a live firing exercise at RAF Tain in the Highlands

A soldier shot dead at an RAF base in the Highlands has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Lance corporal Joe Spencer, 24, from Hampshire, died during a live firing exercise at RAF Tain in Easter Ross on Tuesday. Nobody else was injured in the incident, which involved about 20 members of the armed forces.

On Wednesday, defence minister Mark Lancaster said: “It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that lance corporal Joe Spencer from 3rd Battalion The Rifles died at RAF Tain on Tuesday. My thoughts are with Joe’s family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time. We are cooperating with the police investigation and looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

RAF Tain: Police at base shortly after shooting on Tuesday.RAF Tain: Police at base shortly after shooting on Tuesday

LCpl Spencer joined the army in 2011 and completed a tour of Afghanistan, as well as serving in Kenya and the US.

Police Scotland is leading the inquiry into the shooting and has assigned 30 officers to the case.

Chief inspector Iain MacLelland said: “We are leading the investigation to find out exactly what has happened where the serviceman has sadly died. The incident is confined to the area and we’re satisfied there was no risk to the public at any time. The persons who were involved in this were participating in the exercise.”

On Wednesday morning, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a tragic incident and my deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the person who has died. It is another important reminder of the often difficult and dangerous job our armed forces do every day.”

Theresa May expressed her sympathy with LCpl Spencer’s family during Prime Minister’s Questions this week.

LCpl Spencer’s death comes two months after another soldier was shot dead during a live firing exercise at the Otterburn Training Area in Northumberland.

Private Conor McPherson, 24, a member of the Black Watch, suffered a serious head wound at the range on August 22.

Just over a month before private McPherson’s death, a Scottish soldier died on a training exercise in Brecon, south Wales.

Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan in Dumfries and Galloway, died on July 19 near the Dering Lines infantry training centre.

RAF Tain is used by the British armed forces and other Nato nations for shooting, bombing and strafing practice. Typhoons and Tornados from RAF Lossiemouth are the main users of the Tain range. STV NEWS 


nov 3rd tweet  


Wed 2nd Nov 2016

30 police investigate after soldier ‘shot dead’ on exercise at military  

soldier who died at an RAF weapons range was taking part in a night-time training exercise involving around 20 servicemen.

Emergency services were called to RAF Tain, north of Inverness, at around 6pm on Tuesday and a cordon was set up around the base following the incident.

Police Scotland, which is leading the investigation, would not say if the death was being treated as accidental and around 30 officers are involved in the inquiry at the base on the Dornoch Firth.

Chief Insp Iain MacLelland, who confirmed a firearm was involved, said the nature of the incident would require a continued police presence in the area in the days ahead.

He added: “We are keeping a very open mind into the cause of the incident. It is the very early stages of the investigation and as the investigation progresses we’ll continue to release further information into the nature of that inquiry.”

The family of the victim has been informed and police confirmed that he was not from the local area.

RAF Tain
RAF Tain

 

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, said it was a tragic incident, adding: “My deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the person who has died. It is another important reminder of the often difficult and dangerous job our Armed Forces do every day.”

Theresa May used Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons to pass on her condolences to the serviceman’s family.

The training facility is used by the RAF and the Army and has a rifle range and small arms range, as well as bombing ranges for aircraft. It is also used by US and other Nato air forces for bombing and strafing practice.

Alasdair Rhind, deputy leader of Highland Council, said the site had a very good safety record.

Tain

But Dr Paul Monaghan, the local SNP MP, said he was concerned that staff cuts at the base could have increased the risks to the general public.

He added: “Since the year 2000, 135 deaths have taken place involving military personnel on training or on exercise. Eleven of these deaths have taken place during live fire exercises. I have some outstanding concerns about the management of RAF Tain and staffing reductions that appear to increase risks and reduce safety levels to the general public.”

The death comes a little more than two months after a soldier was shot dead during a live-firing exercise at Otterburn Training Area in Northumberland.

Pte Conor McPherson, 24, from Paisley, a member of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, was killed on August 22.

Just over a month before that, a soldier died on a training exercise on the hottest day of the year in Brecon, South Wales. Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan, near Lockerbie, was training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on July 19. Telegraph

 

Soldier Shot Dead due to “Live Firing Accident”

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Hundreds line streets for funeral of soldier Josh Hoole

Hundreds of mourners have lined the streets of a small Scottish village to pay their last respects to a soldier who died on a training exercise. More than 200 people, including soldiers in uniform, stood in silence as corporal Josh Hoole’s funeral cortege passed through his home village of Ecclefechan, near Lockerbie, in Dumfries and Galloway on Thursday read in full here