A Green Beret parachute soldier is dead after an accident during a routine military jump Friday near Shelton, Washington.
The soldier, whose name has not yet been released, was from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The Army confirmed Saturday he was part of the base's elite 1st Special Forces Group, the Tacoma News Tribune reported
The Mason County Sheriff's Office reported that the soldier was missing Friday after the military exercise near Kamilche, a community south of Shelton. His body was later found around 10 p.m. The jump exercise was carried out around noon that day, according to the News Tribune.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the soldier involved in this tragic incident," group Commander Col. Otto K. Liller told the newspaper. "We will conduct a thorough investigation into this incident, and we will do everything in our power to support the family of the brave soldier who died today."
Maj. Timothy Chavis, the Special Forces Group spokesman, told the Seattle Times
that the training exercise was not "beginners training" but it was not known yet why the soldier did not make it to the drop zone.
The Army Times reported in June that Green Berets
had limited quantities of a new parachute that would help increase a soldier's load capacity, maneuverability, and ergonomics. The steerable parachutes gave jumpers substantially more mobility than circular parachutes like the Army's non-maneuverable canopy parachute, the T-11.
"The RA-1 won't stall like its predecessor," 3rd Special Forces Group spokesman Capt. Doug Ray told the Army Times. Ray added that, when maneuvering in for a landing, sometimes if a soldier pulls the breaks on the descent too early and then releases, you can basically be upended and ultimately land on your face, the Times noted.
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