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Airman who fell from plane had completed missions to Africa, Afghanistan

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 10, 2019

The special tactics airman who fell from an aircraft flying over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday has been identified by the Air Force.

Staff Sgt. Cole N. Condiff, 29, was a special tactics combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, according to a release issued Saturday. He was assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The airman fell from a C-130 Tuesday during a planned static-line jump at about 11 a.m. over the Gulf of Mexico, south of Hurlburt Field, according to a news release from the base’s 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs.

Recovery efforts are still underway by a joint team of Air Force and Navy personnel, according to the release. The Coast Guard announced it was suspending its rescue efforts on Friday. The Air Force is investigating the incident and will not provide more details in the meantime, according to the release.

“Cole was a man with deep-rooted beliefs who dedicated himself to God, our freedoms, peace and his family,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Steven Cooper said in the news release. “He was a devoted family man within our squadron, focused on teaching his girls to be adventurous like he was.

“This is a tragic loss to the squadron, Special Tactics community and our nation. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and teammates at this time.”

Condiff was born in Dallas and enlisted in the Air Force in 2012 after a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was assigned to Hurlburt Field in 2015.

Assignments to Africa in support of Operation Juniper Shield and Afghanistan as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel were among those highlighted in the release and a biography the service sent out.

He was qualified as an air traffic controller, combat scuba diver, static-line jumpmaster, free fall jumper and joint terminal attack controller, according to his biography.

Condiff is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents, a sister and two brothers.

news@stripes.com

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