The two special operations airmen who died after a parachute training incident Monday were identified as Tech Sgt. Timothy A. Officer Jr. and Tech Sgt. Marty B. Bettelyoun. Both men died of injuries sustained during military freefall training at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. They belonged to the 24th Special Operations Wing. Specific information about how the incident unfolded will not be released while the matter is under investigation, a Tuesday news release from the 24th SOW stated. Investigations can take up to a year to complete. “Tech Sergeants Timothy Officer and Marty Bettelyoun were the epitome of a Special Tactics Airman: professional, dedicated and prepared to give their lives in service to their country,” Col. Wolfe Davidson, commander of the 24th SOW, said in a statement. “Our community has taken a huge loss with their deaths, and they will be sorely missed.” Officer, 32, was a Tactical Air Control Party airman assigned to the 720th Operations Support Squadron. He served 14 years in the Air Force, during which he deployed several times in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Officer provided Chief, Joint Terminal Attack Controller program management, training, and oversight for eight Special Tactics squadrons encompassing over 900 combat controllers, pararescuemen, special operations weathermen, tactical air control party, and mission support personnel,” according to his Air Force biography. He was awarded the Bronze Star twice, once with the “V” device for valor, his biography said. Bettelyoun, 35, was a Combat Controller who was also with the 720th Operations Support Squadron. He too had several combat deployments during his 15-year Air Force career. “As the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Surveys and Assault Zones, Bettelyoun provided assault zone and survey program management, training, and oversight for eight special tactics units encompassing over 900 combat controllers, pararescuemen, special operations weathermen, tactical air control party, and mission support personnel,” his Air Force biography said. He completed Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape school in 2001 and later taught SERE techniques to thousands of airmen and other personnel at high risk of being captured. In 2006, he retrained and became a combat controller. Officer and Bettelyoun were respected by their peers for their battlefield skills and their commitment to friends and loved ones, Davidson said in Tuesday’s statement. “In the face of this tragedy, we will honor their service and their sacrifice, and we request others respect their family’s privacy as they take it one day at a time,” he said
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Air Force officials say one service member was killed and another was injured during a parachute training accident in the Florida Panhandle. Air Force Special Operations Command reports that one airman died Monday during military freefall training at the Eglin Air Force Base range. Another airman was injured in the same accident and remains in critical condition. Officials weren’t immediately naming either airman involved. A news release says the cause of the incident remains under investigation. Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A second airman has died from injuries during a parachute training accident Monday at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Both airmen served with the 24th Special Operations Wing. Their names are expected to be released later Tuesday. The accident happened during “routine military freefall training,” according to a 24th Special Operations Wing news release, which did not provide details of what went wrong. Both airmen were rushed to local hospitals. The Associated Press initially reported on Monday that one airman died and the second was in critical condition. On Tuesday, the 24th SOW announced that both airmen died of injuries sustained in the accident. Investigators are looking into what caused the accident, the news release said.
This is a must watch video. The procession crossed several miles of saluting personnel. An amazing show of support for our fallen.