Two airmen killed in parachute training accident in Florida

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Two special forces airmen were killed in a parachute training accident in the Florida Panhandle on Monday.

The Air Force said in a statement Tuesday that Sgt. Timothy A. Officer, 32, and Sgt. Marty Bettelyoun, 35, died from injuries they sustained during freefall training at the Eglin Air Force Base range.

The airmen were part of a special tactics unit assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field. Both men had multiple deployments to various combat zones.

Officer was a 14-year veteran with two Bronze Star Medals for bravery in combat. Bettelyoun was a 15-year veteran combat control specialist.

“Our community has taken a huge loss with their deaths, and they will be sorely missed,” Col. Wolfe Davidson, 24th Special Operations Wing commander said in a statement to the Pensacola News Journal. “They were respected by their peers for not only their ability on the battlefield, but also for their incredible commitment to friends and family. In the face of this tragedy, we will honor their service and their sacrifice, and we request others respect their family’s privacy as they take it one day at a time.”

Their deaths are under investigation.

The Pensacola News Journal contributed to this report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.