Lost Special Tactics Airman Identified, Recovery Efforts Ongoing in Gulf of Mexico

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Lost airman is 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff

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. (920th Rescue Wing image)

HULBURT FIELD, FLORIDA – 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.

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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.

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