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Soldier dies during freefall training in Arizona

An Army special operations soldier died during military freefall training in Eloy, Arizona on Tuesday.

“We are aware of an incident resulting in the death of a U.S. Army Special Operations Command Soldier during a routine military freefall training event,” command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in a statement.

Local media reported that the training event took place Monday night or early Tuesday morning. The incident is under investigation, Bymer said.

Army special operations officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment detailing the type of jump training being performed.

Eloy is a common location for special operations forces to conduct advanced parachute training. It is a three-hour drive east of the basic military freefall course run by the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School out of Yuma Proving Grounds.

Private companies like Airborne Systems run training courses and conduct operations off the runway at Eloy Municipal Airport.

Airborne Systems’ website states that the area hosts the world’s largest civilian drop-zone and is a provider of Defense Department-approved aircraft for military jump operations.

Different training courses conducted in Eloy help operators become more proficient with high altitude high opening jumps, oxygen use under canopy and jumps following robotic aerial delivery systems.

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