Local News

Ft. Bragg Soldier Among the Dead in Kuwaiti Training Accident

Posted March 12, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— A Fort Bragg soldier was one of the soldiers killed in Monday's training accident in Kuwait.

Staff Sgt. Troy J. Westberg, 29, a native of Mankato, Minn., was assigned to the Third Special Force Group at Fort Bragg as a Special Forces medical sergeant. Westberg enlisted in the Reserve in 1989 and began active duty in 1993.

The Gulf War veteran leaves behind a wife and two children in Hope Mills. A local memorial service for Westberg is being planned for 11 a.m. Monday at the JFK Memorial Chapel on Ardennes Street.

Westberg died when a Navy F/A-18C dropped a 500-pound bomb on or near an observation post during a training exercise. Five American servicemen were killed, as well as a New Zealand Army major.

Five other Special Forces soldiers were injured. Three were stationed at Bragg. Two are still hospitalized, and one was treated and released.

A U.S. serviceman at the scene of the accidental bombing cleared the fighter pilot to release his bombs and then tried belatedly to abort the training strike, U.S. officials said Tuesday.