Air Force airman is missing after falling from plane

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An MC-130H Combat Talon II prepares to take off from Hurlburt Field, Fla. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Matthew Loken)

A U.S. Air Force airman is missing after falling out of a C-130 over the Gulf of Mexico.

The fall happened during a parachute-jump training exercise. The missing staff sergeant, who is assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing, deployed his parachute and fell about 1,500 feet into the water. The crew of the aircraft said he was treading water initially, but after turning around they couldn’t see him.

A statement issued from Hurlburt Field, Fla., said the missing airman “exited his aircraft during a jump training scenario over the Gulf of Mexico approximately 4 miles south” of the installation.

The aircraft and crew is from Hurlburt Field on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Multiple agencies are assisting in the search for the missing airman, including the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and Florida Fish and Wildlife. Responding crews were adjusting their search area based on currents in the area, Coast Guard Petty Officer Kamil Zdankowski told the Northwest Florida Daily News.