The West Virginia National Guard has identified the soldier who died in a training exercise on Wednesday at Suffolk Executive Airport in Virginia.

Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Sheperty, 36, suffered fatal injuries while involved in an airborne operations training exercise at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday. He was pronounced dead on the scene by local emergency services personnel, the Guard said in a press release Thursday. The incident is under investigation.

“On behalf of the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard, I extend my deepest condolences to Nick’s family, friends and those who served with him. The loss of such an exceptional Soldier and true West Virginia hero will be felt throughout our entire organization,” said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard.

Sheperty was a member of the elite Green Berets and served as a Senior Weapons Sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Kingwood, West Virginia. He joined the West Virginia Army National Guard in 2010.

Prior to his service with the West Virginia National Guard, Sheperty served with the Marine Corps Special Operations Command. He enlisted in the military in 2002, and served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Navy/Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, and NATO medal among numerous other awards and decorations. He was a resident of Baltimore and native Virginian.

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