Missing airman presumed dead after parachute jump off Fla. Panhandle

Military

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — An airman who is presumed dead after an unplanned parachute jump from a C-130 aircraft off Florida’s Panhandle has been identified.

According to a military news release, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, was a special tactics combat controller with 24th Special Operations Wing, part of the Air Force Special Operations Command.

Condiff is survived by his wife and their two daughters, as well as by his parents, sister and two brothers.

On Tuesday morning, Condiff fell into the Gulf of Mexico south of Hurlburt Field while performing a planned static-line jump.

Coast Guard air and boat crews spent over 130 hours on scene and searched more than 4,909 square-nautical miles but were unable to locate him.

The Pensacola News-Journal reports Condiff was a Dallas native who attended Utah Valley University and served a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Spokane, Washington.

“Cole was a man with deep-rooted beliefs who dedicated himself to God, our freedoms, peace, and his family. He was a devoted family man within our squadron, focused on teaching his girls to be adventurous like he was,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Cooper, commander of the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, in the release. “This is a tragic loss to the squadron, the Special Tactics community and our nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates at this time.”

He completed deployments to Africa and Afghanistan, and his awards and decorations include an Air Force Achievement Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal with a combat device.

After enlisting in the Air Force in 2012, he entered the two-year combat control training program and was then assigned to Hurlburt Field.

Condiff was a static-line jumpmaster, military free-fall jumper, combat scuba diver, air traffic controller and a joint terminal attack controller. As a special tactics combat controller, he was trained for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct reconnaissance, global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations.

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Information from: Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com

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