Blamey Barracks Kapooka: Australian army is rocked as soldier tries to end his life during a training exercise at a shooting range
A new army recruit is in critical condition after attempting to kill himself during firearms training.
The incident happened on Tuesday at Blamey Barracks in Kapooka, south-west of Wagga Wagga in the NSW Riverina district.
After being rushed to a nearby hospital, the male soldier was taken to Canberra Hospital where he remains in intensive care.
A Defense Department spokeswoman said an investigation was underway.
A training exercise is held at Blamey Barracks, Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka, where a recruit attempted suicide during weapons training
The soldier involved in the tragic incident at the training center is in the intensive care unit of a hospital
“The defense can confirm that a soldier has been injured at Blamey Barracks, Kapooka and is in a critical condition,” she said.
“Our first priority is the well-being of the soldier, his family and unit.
“Defense is working with New South Wales Police as they investigate this matter.”
A Royal Commission into Defense and Veteran Suicide described the suicide rate as a “national tragedy” in an interim report released in August.
The Commission has heard evidence that the largest group of defense personnel who committed suicide were younger or fresh out of training.
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Royal Commission in April 2021, just days after calling Australian troops home from Afghanistan.
At least 500 Afghanistan veterans have committed suicide since Australia went to war in 2001, far exceeding the casualties of the 46 ADF personnel killed in the line of duty during the same period.
The Commission received evidence that the suicide rate among male veterans was 27 percent higher than the general Australian population, and among ex-military women 107 percent higher.
The Morrison government had also promised a National Commissioner to ensure all recommendations from the two-year inquiry were implemented.
Soldiers attend training exercises at the Army Recruit Training Centre, Kapooka in NSW