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Airman dies at J.B. Charleston-Third PT-related death this year

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For the third time in less than two months, a warrior has collapsed and died in conjunction with a military PT test.

Local news just reported that yesterday, July 12, Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Spoffard, 26, collapsed at Joint Base Charleston during an Air Force physical fitness test. He was transported to Trident Medical Center in North Charleston where attempts to save his life were not successful.

Staff Sgt. Spoffard was a member of the 315th Airlift Wing (Reserves) and had been with that unit since January of 2013. North Charleston was his home.

More information on Staff Sgt. Spoffard, including military commendations, achievements, and marital status is available by calling the Public Affairs Office at Joint base Charleston, 843-963-1110.

On May 31, Sgt. Dwayne K. Torres, 32, also died while performing a physical fitness test in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was an Army recruiter and member of the Hawaii Army National Guard. He had deployed overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-2005 with Company C’s 193rd Aviation unit. Cause of death was not released in conjunction with the news of his death. Sgt. Torres was married and lived in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

In a case eerily similar to the other PT related deaths, military officials aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., revealed that Lt. Colonel Andrew Reed, 39, collapsed and died, June 28, while completing the running portion of a semi-annual physical fitness test on nearby Camp Johnson. A massive heart attack was later ruled as the cause of death.

Until the investigation is complete, it is not known if heat was a contributing factor in Lt. Colonel Reed's death or any of the physical training-related deaths. Military physical training sessions are typically held in the mornings to alleviate heat stress.

Lt. Colonel Reed was slated to take over command of Logistics Operations School at Camp Johnson, a satellite camp of Camp Lejeune, where various support specialties train including finance, logistics, administration, and supply.

The military is expected to review physical training test procedures in conjunction with all three of this year’s PT-related deaths.

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