NECC Commander Convenes Article 32 Investigation


Story Number: NNS130501-10Release Date: 5/1/2013 6:59:00 PM
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From Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), Rear. Adm. Mike Tillotson, convened a Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 32 Investigation April 30 to determine the disposition of criminal courts-martial charges against two Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) Two Sailors arising from the Feb. 26 deaths of two Navy divers during a training exercise at the Underwater Test Facility, Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), Aberdeen, Md.

During the UCMJ Article 32 investigation hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, the charges and information collected will be considered and a recommendation on the next course of action will be made. The hearing is scheduled to commence on May 21.

The specific charges under investigation include violations of UCMJ Articles 92 (Dereliction of Duty) and 119 (Involuntary Manslaughter).

Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Mo., drowned while conducting a training exercise at the Underwater Test Facility, Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), Aberdeen, Md., Feb. 26. The two divers were assigned to MDSU Two, based in Virginia Beach.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EODGRU) Two completed a command investigation into the events leading up to the deaths.

NECC is conducting a safety investigation into the incident, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) also completed a separate investigation.

MDSU Two is an expeditionary mobile unit homeported at Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Ft. Story in Virginia Beach, Va. and has conducted salvage operations to support TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minnesota, the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, and recovery of a downed F-16 Fighting Falcon off the coast of Italy.

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