A soldier who died after being shot dead at a Highland military base has today been named.
Lance Corporal Joe Spencer, from 3rd Battalion The Rifle, died at RAF Tain on Tuesday.
It is understood that LCpl Spencer was killed during a routine training exercise at the Highland range.
The Press and Journal revealed yesterday how 30 detectives were working on establishing the circumstances around the young soldier’s death.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said today: “It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that Lance Corporal Joe Spencer from 3rd Battalion The Rifles died at RAF Tain on Tuesday.
“My thoughts are with Joe’s family, friends and colleagues at this terrible time.
“We are co-operating with the police investigation and looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.”
On Wednesday morning, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to the young solder, saying: “This is a tragic incident and my deepest condolences go to the family, friends and colleagues of the person who has died.
“It is another important reminder of the often difficult and dangerous job our armed forces do every day.”
The Tain range is used by tri-service, US Air Force and other Nato air forces for bombing and strafing practice.
It has 18 separate targets suitable for a variety of weapons and different delivery methods.
Typhoons and Tornados from RAF Lossiemouth are the main air users of the range.
Tain is also responsible for Cape Wrath Range near the village of Durness.
Both ranges employ a number of civilian contracted workers who manage the estate, assist in the control tower, target score and deal with ordnance clearance from the range.
This latest incident comes just three months after a Black Watch soldier was killed in a training exercise in England.
Conor McPherson, 24, had travelled from his base at Fort George, near Ardersier, to take part in Operation Wessex Storm south of the border.
But private McPherson was shot in the head during a live firing exercise at Otterburn in Northumberland.
Just over a month before his death a soldier died on a training exercise in Brecon, south Wales.
Joshua Hoole, from Ecclefechan near Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, was training for the Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course when he died on July 19.
The 26-year-old collapsed after taking part in a fitness test near the Dering Lines infantry training centre.
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding both earlier deaths.