GULF OF MEXICO, Nov. 10, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Air Force has identified the special tactics airman who was lost in the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday as Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, a graduate of Utah Valley University and a former missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Condiff, 29, was a combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, said a Facebook post from Air Force Special Tactics. Condiff had what the Air Force described as an unplanned parachute departure from a C-130 over the Gulf of Mexico.
An article in the Air Force Times said Condiff graduated from Sachse High School in Sachse, Texas, and then attended Utah Valley University. He served a two-year mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Spokane, Washington.
Condiff is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents, a sister and two brothers, said the Facebook post.
“The 24th SOW would like to emphasize the family’s request for privacy,” the post stated.
In an Air Force news release, Condiff’s family called him a devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend who loved his family.
“Cole loved his country and was honored to serve to protect the freedoms we enjoy,” the Condiff family said in a statement. “Cole had a deep faith in God. Although we mourn, it is through our faith that we take comfort in knowing we will be with him again. He will be greatly missed by all. We ask for continued prayers as his wife and daughters move forward without their beloved husband and daddy.”
The family also expressed “our deepest and unending gratitude to those that have searched so diligently,” and thanked those who stood ready to help them.
“Cole was a man with deep-rooted beliefs who dedicated himself to God, our freedoms, peace, and his family,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Steven Cooper said in a news release from the Air Force. “He was a devoted family man within our squadron, focused on teaching his girls to be adventurous like he was. 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.”
Condiff was a static-line jumpmaster, military free-fall jumper, combat scuba diver, air traffic controller and a joint terminal attack controller who deployed to Africa and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include an Air Force Achievement Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal with a combat device, the Air Force statement said.