U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force Search for Missing Airman

C-130s in formation near Hurlburt Field, Florida, the home of the 24th Special Operations Wing (file image courtesy USAF)

Published Nov 6, 2019 4:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force are searching for a missing servicemember from the USAF's 24th Special Operations Wing who was last seen in the water two nautical miles off the coast of Destin, Florida.

The as-yet-unidentified staff sergeant "exited" an Air Force C-130 airplane during a jump training mission on Tuesday morning. He successfully deployed his parachute and was last seen treading water, according to a spokesman for Coast Guard Sector Mobile. 

The Coast Guard has deployed two helicopters, an Ocean Sentry search airplane, the cutter Gannet and two small boat crews. The USAF, U.S. Army, Santa Rosa County and Escambia County Sheriff's Offices and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are participating in a search. 

The 24th Special Operations Wing is the only "Special Tactics" wing in the USAF. Its core mission consists of airfield reconnaissance, joint terminal attack control, personnel recovery and environmental reconnaissance for U.S. Special Operation Command. It is the most decorated unit in the Air Force.