Parachute training suspended after Marine killed in Arizona accident

A C-17 Globemaster air drops marine raiders assigned to the 3D Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on Oct. 29, 2017. Photo by Airman 1st Class Gracie Lee/U.S. Air Force

Jan. 25 (UPI) — The U.S. Marine Corps has suspended double-bag static line parachute jumps after a training accident claimed the life of a U.S. Marine in Arizona.

The 22-year-old Marine, Cpl. Alejandro Romero, died during a mishap while he was attending the 10-day Multi-Mission Parachute Course in Coolidge, Ariz., on Monday.

“The Marine Corps has suspended all double-bag static line parachuting operations effective immediately until further notice,” the Marine Corps said in a press statement. “A preliminary investigation is underway which will be followed by a Safety Investigation Board with support from multiple subject matter experts.”

A static line jump involves a line connected to the parachute itself. Before exiting the aircraft, a jumper connects the static line onto a cable that runs the length of the aircraft. Upon jumping, the static line catches and deploys the chute without the jumper having to pull the ripcord, unlike in a free-fall jump.

A double-bag static line jump involves multiple chutes that ultimately use gravity to deploy a drogue chute, a secondary parachute that is rapidly deployed to reduce the speed of the jumper.

Romero was a reconnaissance scout with Bravo Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Okinawa, Japan. His personal awards include the National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.


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