Soldier killed at Castlemartin range named as Sgt Gavin Hillier

image copyrightFamily image
image captionSgt Gavin Hillier's father posted on Facebook paying tribute to his son

A soldier who was killed during a live-fire training exercise at an army range has been named as Sgt Gavin Hillier of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

Sgt Hillier died on Thursday evening after being fatally injured at Castlemartin in Pembrokeshire.

In a post on Facebook, Sgt Hillier's father said he was "heartbroken" by the death of his son.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time."

It added: "An investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage."

image copyrightMOD
image captionSgt Hillier was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 2019 by Prince Charles, who is the colonel of the Welsh Guards

Earlier on Saturday, Dyfed-Powys Police said it had opened an investigation into the death of the soldier.

Police said officers were liaising with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Ministry of Defence.

The Defence Accident Investigation Branch is also involved in inquiries into the soldier's death.

In a Facebook post, Sgt Hillier's father said he was"absolutely devastated".

image captionThe Castlemartin range is one of a dozen army training estates in the UK

Previous deaths

Sgt Hillier is the fourth member of the military to die at the range since 2012.

In 2017, two soldiers died in a tank explosion, which a coroner ruled was due to a design flaw.

An army captain was jailed in July 2018 after a 21-year-old soldier was killed by a stray bullet during an exercise at the range in 2012.

According to the MoD, the Welsh Guards have a "dual role" as "light role infantry" and "world class ceremonial soldiers, guarding the Royal Family and royal palaces such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London and conducting state ceremonial duties".

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