Navy hearing in Caldwell man’s death
NORFOLK, Va. – The Navy has identified the two men who could face a court martial on involuntary manslaughter and dereliction-of-duty charges in the drowning deaths of two divers at Aberdeen Proving Ground near Baltimore.
Senior Chief Petty Officer James Burger and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Smith were named during an Article 32 investigation hearing at Naval Station Norfolk on Wednesday.
Each is a member of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two.
Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher of Caldwell, Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris of Gladstone, Mo., belonged to that unit.
They drowned Feb. 26 while working at the Super Pond underwater weapons-testing facility.
The Navy hearing will help determine whether the charges will be referred to a court-martial, dealt with administratively or dismissed. It will continue today.
The test facility, dubbed the “Super Pond,” is used to conduct shock testing of vessels, submarine systems and munitions. With a bottom measuring 300 feet in diameter and a maximum depth of 150 feet, the facility also has been used in testing torpedoes, missiles, warheads, amphibious and remotely controlled vehicles, underwater gun firing and acoustics.