Joe Spencer Named As Serviceman Who Died At RAF Tain On Training Exercise

The incident took place at a weapons range.

A serviceman who died during a training exercise at an RAF weapons range in Scotland has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Lance Corporal Joe Spencer from 3rd Battalion The Rifles died in a “firearm incident”, according to the BBC.

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 co-operating with the police investigation and looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”

<strong>Lance Corporal Joe Spencer died during a training exercise</strong>
Lance Corporal Joe Spencer died during a training exercise

Around 20 personnel were involved in the exercise.

The Tain range is used by the UK armed forces, 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, keep score of accuracy in target practice and deal with ordnance clearance from the range.

<strong>Police at the scene earlier this week</strong>
Police at the scene earlier this week
Ben Philip/PA Wire

The incident comes a little more than two months after a soldier was shot dead during a live-fire exercise at the Otterburn training area in Northumberland.

Pte Conor McPherson, 24, a member of the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, sustained a serious head wound on 22 August. Just over a month before McPherson’s death a soldier died on a training exercise on the hottest day of the year in Powys, mid-Wales.

Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was on pre-course training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on 19 July. The 26-year-old member of the Rifles regiment collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centre near Brecon at about 6.30am.

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