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Paratrooper killed during Fort Bragg training exercise

Posted September 24, 2013
Updated September 25, 2013

— The death of an XVIII Airborne Corps soldier at Fort Bragg remains under investigation, officials said Tuesday, a day after a parachute accident claimed the paratrooper's life – the first such death at the post since 2011.

Col. Darron L. Wright, 46, of Mesquite, Texas, the corps' assistant chief of staff, died while conducting a standard MC-6 parachute jump at Sicily Drop Zone, officials said Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened by (Monday’s) events, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, said in a statement. “The XVIII Airborne Corps has sustained the loss of a superb paratrooper and a magnificent officer who served with marked distinction and honor throughout his career.”

Fort Bragg is no stranger to such tragedies.

In June 2011, Staff Sgt. Jamal Clay, 25, with the 82nd Airborne Division, fell 800 feet during a training exercise when he jumped at the Sicily Drop Zone on post.

Officials said Clay was using, at the time of his death, a new square-shaped parachute model known as the T-11 and that the parachute never opened.

The Army temporarily discontinued their use and made changes to how it was packed and trained solders how to use it.

Wright is survived by his wife and three children.

5 Comments

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  • mojaintsmall Sep 25, 2:29 p.m.

    Just goes to show even the highest rank officers are still required to be jump qualified. mojaintsmall

  • Bob3425 Sep 25, 2:26 p.m.

    With 198 jumps the risk is part of the job, it takes special men/women to jump. AlphaTaz comment it still hurts to lose a trooper, best wishes to the family.

  • AlphaTraz Sep 24, 4:28 p.m.

    As a paratrooper myself, we volunteer for this. But it still hurts when we lose a brother. GOD Speed Airborne.

  • wolfpackgirl1289 Sep 24, 1:44 p.m.

    My condolences go out to the soldier and his family, tragic.

  • affirmativediversity Sep 24, 1:37 p.m.

    My condolences to his or her family and friends.