Nevada Army Guard Staff Sgt. David W. Gallagher, 51, of Las Vegas, died Tuesday after being involved in an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank training accident at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Gallagher was assigned to the Nevada Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 221st Cavalry Regiment, based in Las Vegas. The squadron was participating in a month-long series of combat exercises at Fort Irwin when the accident occurred.
Three other Nevada Army Guard soldiers, Sgt. Christian Tijerina, 27, of Las Vegas, Pfc. Brandon Fuka, 20, of Las Vegas, and Pfc. Zachary Little, 19, of Las Vegas, were treated at Weed Army Community Hospital at Fort Irwin and were released.
The 221st is part of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team. The brigade includes more than 3,200 soldiers and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, with battalions from Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. The brigade is completing a month-long training rotation at the U.S. Army’s combat training center at Fort Irwin, which is located near Barstow, Calif.
Gallagher, an armor crewman, was assigned to D Troop, which is headquartered with the other Nevada troops (cavalry units) on Range Road in North Las Vegas. Gallagher initially entered the military in 1988 and enlisted in the Nevada Army Guard in 2009.
“We are saddened by the events that happened to our soldiers at Fort Irwin,” Nevada Army National Guard Chief of Staff Col. Cory Schulz said. “Sgt. Gallagher was a motivated, dedicated non-commissioned officer who will be greatly missed. As soldiers we strive every day to live up to the example set by him. Again, our thoughts go out to his family and loved ones.”
Staff Sgt. Gallagher was promoted posthumously to the rank of Sgt. First Class.
The state’s ministry team is at Fort Irwin to assist the roughly 650 soldiers in the regiment. The cause of the accident is under investigation.