Civilian was among those injured in fatal Fort Bragg training
Posted September 15
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — One soldier was killed and seven others were injured Thursday morning during a training exercise at Fort Bragg. Among those injured was one civilian.
According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, the incident occurred during a demolitions training incident on Rage 69 at Fort Bragg and involved students and cadre from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida, 32, of Dunstable, Massachusetts, died as a result of the incident.
An observer from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received minor injuries during the incident.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt said Friday investigators haven't told him whether an explosion caused the death the soldier, but Dalida was learning tasks that included working with explosives.
Bockholt said he did not know the medical condition of the seven injured Thursday in what was described as a training exercise involving demolitions.
Dalida was at a stage in the yearlong Special Forces qualification course in which he was learning engineering skills. The Army describes Special Forces engineer sergeants as specialists in demolitions, along with building field fortifications and bridges.
"The special operations community is a close-knit family. At the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, we consider every student who enters our institution a part of our SWCS family. Staff Sgt. Dalida's death is a reminder that a soldier’s job is inherently dangerous. Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Dalida's family and friends," said Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, commander of the Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
Dalida's father, Paul Dalida, issued a statement saying, "Alexander was serving his country proudly for the best of reasons. He was the happiest he'd ever been. Serving his country courageously is my son's legacy."
On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered that all United States and North Carolina state flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff.
The injured soldiers were taken by helicopter and ambulance to local hospitals, including Womack Army Medical Center and UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Authorities did not release information on the condition of those seven soldiers.