The Associated Press (AP) has received the name of the Marine but is will not announce it until a formal statement is released by military officials regarding the incident.
In a statement to AP, the US Marine Forces Special Operations Command confirmed that the incident is under investigation. Four Defense Department officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, also confirmed to the outlet that the Marine was participating in the Army's Basic Airborne Course, which is part of special operations training in the Marine Corps.
“Our sincere thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” the statement noted, adding that the military “is providing care and support to them as they grieve this tremendous loss.”
Fort Benning is the location of the US Army Airborne School, which is attended by thousands of paratroopers every year. A three-week program teaches service members how to conduct parachute jumping exercises. Students must conduct five jumps from either a C-120 or C-17 aircraft at an altitude of more than 1,200 feet during the final week of jump school.
Last year, a Green Beret, Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman, was killed during a free-fall training jump in Elroy, Arizona. According to AP, Goodman had experience with parachuting and had served several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In another incident, 32 soldiers were injured during a nighttime jump exercise last October after their parachutes hit trees in Mississippi due to strong winds, AP reported.