Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Army Officer Dies After 'Pre-SCUBA' Training Accident

Tragedy out of North Carolina, as U.S. Army Special Forces Captain Juan E. Lightfoot has died several days after a pre-scuba training accident.

The Army is investigating the death of a Special Forces captain who died Sunday after an accident during unit pre-scuba training Dec. 8 on Fort Bragg.

Capt. Juan E. Lightfoot, 34, died at Womack Army Medical Center four days after the accident. Lightfoot, of Elmont, N.Y., commanded a Special Forces detachment in Company C of the 2nd Battalion of Fort Bragg's 7th Special Forces Group. The former Marine had arrived at the battalion in November.

As the article mentions, details about the accident are unavailable due to the investigation. But Maj. Jimmy Brownlee, a spokesman for 7th Group, did mention that the training in which Lightfoot was partaking is designed to prepare soldiers for a combat diver's course.

The training was intended to prepare soldiers to attend the Combat Divers Qualification Course at Key West, Fla., Brownlee said. The Combat Divers Qualification Course is held at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, part of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

Special Forces soldiers train to infiltrate by land, sea and air. Combat divers might be dropped off in water and have to swim to their objective and cope with obstacles in between. The underwater mission is extremely rigorous, Brownlee said.

"Not every Special Forces soldier is a combat diver," Brownlee said. "When you get under that water, you could be 20 or 30 feet down, you could be tethered to a buddy, not see your compass, waiting for the silt to settle down. If they resurface, they are bringing their buddy with them."

Our thoughts and prayers are with Capt. Lightfoot's family and friends, especially this Christmas season.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: