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Old 10-03-2019, 05:54 AM
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Arrow At least 22 paratroopers were injured after a night time military exercise goes wrong

At least 22 paratroopers were injured after a night time military exercise goes wrong at Camp Shelby
By: Chris Boyette & Madeline Holcombe - CNN 10-3-19

Video link: CBS:

(CNN)A military training exercise at Camp Shelby in Mississippi left at least 22 paratroopers injured and several "in the trees," an army official said. But authorities don't know what went wrong during the night jump to land them there.

Members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division out of Alaska were conducting night jumps at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, 25th Infantry spokesperson Cpt. Ashley Sangster said. Three aircraft were operating near two jump sites in a military exercise, Sangster said.

On the first pass to a drop zone near Camp Shelby, something went wrong and several in the unit ended up "in the trees," Sangster said. Weather was "fair" and the aircraft landed safely, Sangster said, so authorities are still trying to determine what went wrong.
Of the injured, 15 were treated by medics in the field and seven were transported to local hospitals, according to US Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell.

There were 84 infantry members that should have been part of the jump, and all soldiers have been accounted for. Base officials said it was "all hands on deck" to get soldiers out of the trees.

Some soldiers suffered limb injuries from hard landings, but none of the injuries are life-threatening, Sangster said.

In a Facebook post, the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division said that Wednesday was the start of a 10-day training exercise with 650 soldiers. The post added that Forrest General Hospital was notified of possible injuries ahead of time and that emergency vehicles were on standby.

"Airborne Operations all bear an inherent risk. We strive to mitigate this risk as much as possible," the team said on Facebook. "Once all Soldiers have been accounted for, our goal is ultimately to continue training. Despite the challenges that we currently face, Soldiers always place the mission first."

Camp Shelby is a military post located at the southern boundary of Hattiesburg, covering more than 134,000 acres.

A US Army recruiting battalion, @GoArmyMidwest tweeted Tuesday that 25th Infantry Division paratroopers were leaving home in Alaska for Camp Shelby "with minimal notice on an Emergency Deployment exercise."

The 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division this week has posted many videos to their official Facebook page documenting their paratroopers training at Camp Shelby.

The number of injured may number more than 80 soldiers, who apparently parachuted from a C-130 and glided into a wooded area, Lt. Col. Deidre Smith, a spokesman for the Mississippi National Guard, told WDAM-7.

"We do not have final numbers of injured or the extent of injuries right now and there are no life-threatening injuries reported at this time," Daniel Szarek, a spokesman for Camp Shelby, told Task & Purpose, adding that some paratroopers had "missed the intended drop zone," though he cautioned that not all were injured or landed in trees.

"This is an ongoing investigation and more information will be released as it becomes available," he said.

Approximately 650 soldiers with the Alaska-based 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division took part in the jump at 8 p.m. Eastern time, the unit said on its official Facebook page. "We are still consolidating soldiers on the drop zone at this time," it said.

The brigade has been training at Camp Shelby for several days as part of exercise Operation Arctic Anvil.

Camp Shelby Commander Col. Bobby Gin told WDAM-7 the wind blew the paratroopers away from their drop zone into pine trees, where some had to be rescued after becoming entangled.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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