SEAN D. NAYLOR
Aug 3rd 2018
WASHINGTON — A highly decorated soldier from the Army’s elite Delta Force died last month after a free-fall parachute training accident the military did not make public.
Master Sgt. Christopher Nelms, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), finishes a low craw under the “Worm Pit” at the Malvesti Obstacle Course in the Best Ranger Competition, April 13 at US Army Fort Benning. Photo by Patrick A. Albright.
Sgt. Maj. Christopher Nelms, 46, died July 1 from injuries sustained when his parachute failed to fully open during a June 27 jump at Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, N.C., about 40 miles southwest of Delta’s home post of Fort Bragg, N.C. “He was fighting it the whole way down,” said a former Delta Force officer familiar with the accident.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which exercises administrative control of Delta Force, did not announce Nelms’s death, but confirmed it when contacted by Yahoo News. “One service member died as a result of a free-fall training incident on June 27, 2018, in Laurinburg, N.C.,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt, the command spokesman, in an email response to questions from Yahoo News. Nelms “received initial medical treatment for his injuries but unfortunately died at the hospital.”
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