Missing airman identified, recovery efforts ongoing
The missing airman who had an unplanned parachute departure over the Gulf Tuesday, now presumed dead, has been identified as U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Cole Condiff, 29.
According to AP, Sgt. Condiff was a special tactics combat controller with 24th Special Operations Wing, part of the Air Force Special Operations Command.
He is survived by his wife and their two daughters as well as by his parents, sister and two brothers.
Coast Guard air and boat crews spent 130 hours on scene and searched 4,909 square-nautical miles.
According to a military news release, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Steven Cooper, Commander of the 23rd STS, said, "Cole was a man with deep-rooted beliefs who dedicated himself to God, our freedoms, peace, and his family. He was a devoted family man within our squadron, focused on teaching his girls to be adventurous like he was."
Sgt. Condiff is a Dallas, Texas native, and he enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2012. Air Force officials say "Condiff was a static-line jumpmaster, military free-fall jumper, combat scuba diver, air traffic controller, and a joint terminal attack controller."
He completed deployments to Africa and Afghanistan. He was also awarded an Air Force Achievement Medal and an Air Force Commendation Medal with a combat device.
The 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs office said recovery efforts are still ongoing. The Air Force is also actively investigating the incident.