Tactical

One airman dead, five injured in Malmstrom Humvee wreck

One airman was killed and five others were injured in an accident involving a Humvee on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, Saturday, the Air Force said.

Staff Sgt. Jorge Delgado, a 37-year-old airman assigned to the 341st Security Forces Squadron, died in the accident, the Air Force confirmed. He was one of four airmen traveling to work on base in the up-armored High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, the service said. Delgado enlisted in March 2014, according to Air Force personnel records.

Two first responders were also injured after arriving on the scene. The Air Force said two of the hurt airmen are in stable condition at a local medical facility; three have been discharged.

“Team Malmstrom and our surrounding community grieve not only the loss of an outstanding airman, but a family member and a friend,” 341st Missile Wing Commander Col. Dan Voorhies said in a statement. “As we help our impacted airmen and families, I urge us all to spend a little extra time checking in on one another, wrap our arms around those in need, and provide love and support, so we can keep enduring. Wing One is committed to the safety and security of our members, and we will continue to stand strong during this time.”

Additional information about the accident was not immediately available Tuesday. The Air Force said an investigation is ongoing.

This is the second Humvee-related death tied to Malmstrom since last October, and the third overall death related to the vehicle within the Air Force since September. Airman Trinity Reinhart, of the 90th Missile Security Forces Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, died Sept. 16 in an accident in a Colorado nuclear missile field near the Wyoming border. Another airman survived the crash.

About a month later, Airman Alton John, of the 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron, was hospitalized following a highway rollover south of the base; he died Oct. 27. Another airman was also hurt in the crash.

The Air Force has opened investigations into those accidents as well. Following those incidents, 20th Air Force — which oversees the service’s land-based nuclear missiles — changed the way Humvees with upgraded armor are used off-base, said Air Force Global Strike Command spokesperson Charles Hoffman. He declined to say what those changes entailed.

Nine airmen have died in government-owned motor vehicle accidents since October 2018, according to June 2024 Air Force Safety Center data.

A 2021 Government Accountability Office report found that 123 people had died in more than 3,750 noncombat ground vehicle accidents in the Army and Marine Corps between fiscal 2010 and 2019. Humvees were involved in more of those accidents than any other type of tactical vehicle, with rollovers accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total crashes. Military families, lawmakers and the Pentagon have pushed for years to avoid such accidents.

The U.S. military is in the process of replacing some of its four-decade-old Humvee fleet, which the Air Force uses to secure the nation’s missile sites, with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle — which promises a faster, smoother and more secure ride for ground troops. The Air Force plans to buy nearly 2,100 JLTVs.

A previous version of this story misstated Staff Sgt. Jorge Delgado’s age. He was 37.

Courtney Mabeus-Brown is the senior reporter at Air Force Times. She is an award-winning journalist who previously covered the military for Navy Times and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and more.

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