1 JBER paratrooper remains hospitalized after Mississippi training incident
Over 30 paratroopers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson were injured in a training incident at Camp Shelby in Mississippi Wednesday night, Oct. 2.
Capt. Ashley Bain-Sangster, a spokesperson for the 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division, said approximately 650 paratroopers were in the middle of an airborne operation around 8 p.m. CDT when the incident occurred.
Bain-Sangster said three aircraft were performing operations near two separate drop zones. On the first pass to one of the drop zones, something went wrong and several paratroopers went off the drop zone and landed in trees. A second pass scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CDT was canceled.
Col. Bobby Ginn, the commander of the Camp Shelby Joint Force Training Center, said in a press conference Thursday morning, Oct. 3, that 87 paratroopers landed in a wooded area, resulting in injuries.
Bain-Sangster said 32 paratroopers were injured, but only 23 were sent to Forrest General Hospital. Four were still there Thursday night, but as of Monday, Oct. 7, only one paratrooper remained. The others were discharged.
"Injuries on jumps are fairly commonplace," Col. Christopher Landers, the commanding officer of the 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division, said. "To have this number, is relatively rare."
The paratroopers were training at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg as part of “Operation Arctic Anvil." Landers said all training was stopped after the incident, but there are plans to continue the exercise within a day.
Why the paratroopers ended up in the trees remains under investigation. All families of the injured paratroopers have been notified; however, officials are not releasing their identities at this time. A town hall scheduled on JBER to keep those families informed.
Recovery efforts lasted through Thursday morning and all paratroopers involved are accounted for. Ginn said none of the paratroopers had life-threatening injuries.
Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for details.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.