Airman missing off the coast of Florida presumed dead, identified by officials

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (WXXV) — An airman presumed dead after a parachute training exercise off the coast of the Florida Panhandle has been identified.

According to a military news release, 29-year-old U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Cole Condiff, was the airman who fell into the Gulf of Mexico while performing a planned static-line jump from a C-130 aircraft last Tuesday.

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.

Coast Guard officials have reported the airman was wearing a parachute when he jumped but it did not deploy during that training exercise over the Gulf last Tuesday.

Fellow crew members lost sight of the airman after he went into the water.

Coast Guard air and boat crews spent more than 130 hours on scene, and searched more than 4,900 square-nautical miles, but were unable to locate him, and called off their search on Friday.

The Air Force has now taken control of the search for Staff Sergeant Cole Condiff.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on this story as new information becomes available.

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