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Special Tactics Airman Identified, Recovery Efforts Ongoing

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – The Special Tactics Airman who had an unplanned parachute departure from a C-130 aircraft, November 5, 2019, over the Gulf of Mexico, south of Hurlburt Field, has been identified. 

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, was a Special Tactics combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command.

“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 U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Cooper, commander of the 23rd STS. “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.”

The Dallas, Texas native was a graduate of Sachse High School. He attended Utah Valley University and later served a two-year mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Spokane, Washington. Condiff then enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2012 and immediately entered the two-year combat control training program. Upon completion of the pipeline, he was assigned to the 23rd STS at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

            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, Condiff was specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct reconnaissance, global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations.

            Condiff completed deployments to Africa and Afghanistan in support of national security objectives.  His awards and decorations include an Air Force Achievement Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal with a combat device.                                                                         

Recovery efforts by a combined U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy team are ongoing. The Air Force is actively investigating the incident. To preserve the integrity of the investigation, no additional details will be released until further notice.

Condiff is survived by his wife and their two daughters as well as by his parents, sister and two brothers.  The 24th SOW would like to emphasize the family’s request for privacy.

Statement provided by the Condiff family:

“Cole loved his country and was honored to serve to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

Cole had a deep faith in God. Although we mourn, it is through our faith that we take comfort in knowing we will be with him again.

He loved his family. He was a devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend. He will be greatly missed by all.

We would like to express our deepest and unending gratitude to those that have searched so diligently.

We would also like to thank those who have been and continue to stand at the ready to help serve the family in this time of crisis.

We ask for continued prayers as his wife and daughters move forward without their beloved husband and daddy.

Please pray for all of our military men, women, and families.”

6 Responses to “Special Tactics Airman Identified, Recovery Efforts Ongoing”

  1. Seamus says:

    So sad.

  2. GANDIS says:

    “Death, though bitter to observe, is not the end, but is, rather, only another graduation from which we go on to a better life.”
    -Gordon B. Hinckley

    God speed his wife and two girls. The burden they now shoulder is great.

  3. Amer-Rican says:

    Rest In Peace, Warrior.

  4. Steve says:

    Tough loss. R.I.P. Warrior!

  5. Alpha2 says:

    Condolences to his family and fellow STS warriors. Rest In Peace.

  6. Ex Coelis says:

    It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

    George S. Patton