US Marine killed in parachute jump training at Georgia base

A U.S. Marine has died during a parachute training jump exercise at Fort Benning, the Army installation in Georgia, officials said Wednesday.

In a brief statement, U.S. Marine Forces Special Operations Command did not detail how the Marine died, saying the Tuesday incident is under investigation.

Four Defense Department officials told The Associated Press that the service member was attending the Army’s Basic Airborne Course as a continuation of special operations training in the Marine Corps. The officials discussed the incident on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly.

The AP obtained the name of the Marine but is withholding its release until a formal announcement by military officials.

“Our sincere thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” the statement said, adding the military “is providing care and support to them as they grieve this tremendous loss.”

Fort Benning is home to the U.S. Army Airborne School, which thousands of paratroopers attend each year. The three-week program teaches service members how to parachute safely. During the final week of jump school, students must complete five jumps from an altitude of more than 1,200 feet (365 meters) from either a C-130 or C-17 aircraft, according to a fact sheet from the Army.

Earlier this year, a decorated Green Beret was killed during a free-fall training jump in Elroy, Arizona. Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman was an experienced parachutist who served multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last October, 32 soldiers were injured during a nighttime jump exercise when their parachutes were blown into trees in Mississippi.


LaPorta reported from Delray Beach, Florida; Morgan reported from Charlotte.