Air Force Staff Sergeant Cole Condiff , a combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, was lost at sea on November 5 after an “unplanned parachute departure” from his C-130 south of Hurlburt.
Condiff served as a static-line jumpmaster, military free-fall jumper, combat scuba diver, air traffic controller and joint terminal attack controller. He was deployed in Africa and Afghanistan. He is survived by several family members including his wife and two daughters, his parents, sister and two brothers.
Navy Capt. Aaron Peters, commanding officer of Condiff’s division, said, “We are hopeful that our efforts bring him home and offer some measure of relief to his family.”
The Panama City Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center began 24 hour effort to recover the remains of Condiff from the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the Air Force Times:
A Navy crew launched a vessel with side-scan sonar, unmanned underwater vehicles, and remotely-operated vehicles. The unmanned vehicles will search a 29 square-kilometer area for Condiff.
Rescue crews are working 12 hour shifts, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., then 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Efforts are being run out of the Special Tactics Training Squadron facility on Hurlburt.
Local volunteer efforts are underway by local restaurants who have banded together to provide meals for the rescue crews. The community calls for restaurants and individuals in Okaloosa / Santa Rosa County, Florida to assist by volunteering to make food for 10-50 people. The public is asked to assist by contacting Beth Marks at 850-582-0878.