The U.S. Air Force on Sunday identified the airman presumed dead after he fell into the Gulf of Mexico from a C-130 aircraft last week, as recovery efforts continued.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, a special tactics combat controller with 24th Special Operations Wing, part of the Air Force Special Operations Command, fell 1,500 feet out of the plane Tuesday morning during a parachute-jump training exercise out of Hurlburt Field, Fla., investigators said.
Crew members aboard the C-130 said they initially saw Condiff, whose parachute did deploy, treading water but lost sight of him while making a turn to pick him up. The Coast Guard spent over 130 hours on the scene and searched over 4,900 square nautical miles, but were unable to find the airman. . .
Condiff enlisted in the Air Force in 2012, as Fox 13 reported, and his awards and decorations included an Air Force Achievement Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal with a combat device.
The Air Force said Condiff was a static-line jumpmaster, military free-fall jumper, combat scuba diver, air traffic controller and a joint terminal attack controller. (Read more from “Air Force IDs Missing Airman Who Fell Into Gulf of Mexico From C-130 Aircraft” HERE)