A Canadian Soldier Has Died in a Multinational Training Exercise in Bulgaria

SOFIA, (BM) – A Canadian soldier has died of injuries sustained during parachuting while taking part in a multinational training exercise in Bulgaria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting CBC News.

Bombardier Patrick Labrie was a member of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at Petawawa, Ont. He went to high school in Gatineau, Que.

Labrie was taking part in Exercise Swift Response 19, which is running from June 8 to 27 in various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. The U.S.-led joint multinational airborne field training exercise is working to advance interoperability of NATO allies and test the military alliance’s ability to deploy into Eastern Europe at a moment’s notice.

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It’s an air-heavy exercise that involves a lot of paratroopers, aircraft and helicopters.

The accident occurred around 10 p.m. ET Monday in Cheshnegirovo, which was the middle of the night local time.

A spokesman for the Forces said Labrie was a certified jumper who recently had completed recertification for physical training, although the spokesman could not say how many jumps Labrie had completed in his military career.

His death was confirmed by Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of defence staff.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan extended sympathies to the paratrooper’s family and comrades.

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“Next of kin has been informed and we want to pass on our deep condolences, not only to the family, but to all the members who served with Bombardier Labrie,” he said.

“As you know, any time there’s an accident like this, an independent investigation will be launched.”

Sources at the Department of National Defence told CBC that Labrie was one of 100 Canadian soldiers taking part in the annual exercise. He was not part of a nation-to-nation exchange and was under Canadian command at the time of his death.

The fatal jump was from a Canadian aircraft — a static line jump from a height of about 400 metres.

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All Canadian static line jumps in this exercise have been suspended while the investigation takes place.

Two U.S. soldiers were injured in the same incident. A second Canadian taking part in the exercise was injured, but it was not related to the same jump.

There will be a Canadian board of inquiry into the accident.

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Editorial team

Source: CBC

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