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Paratrooper killed during Fort Bragg training exercise

An XVIII Airborne Corps soldier died Monday in a parachute accident while conducting an airborne training operation at Fort Bragg, officials said.

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. — 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.


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