Airman Who Fell From Plane Into Gulf Of Mexico Identified

HURLBURT FIELD, Florida – The U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Airman who fell from a C-130 aircraft into the Gulf of Mexico has been identified as 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff.

Condiff 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 still ongoing. The Air Force is actively investigating the incident.

Condiff is survived by his wife and their two daughters as well as by his parents, sister and two brothers, who have requested privacy in the aftermath of this tragedy.