“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.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.