US Army Europe confirms death of soldier in ‘Swift Response’ exercise in Bulgaria
A soldier died and three were injured during an airborne operation while participating in US-led multinational exercise Swift Response 19 in Cheshnegirovo, Bulgaria, on June 18, US Army Europe said in a statement.
The airborne jump was immediately suspended in order to attend to the paratrooper. All casualties were immediately transported to local hospitals where one was pronounced dead, one was admitted for further evaluation, and two were treated and released, the statement said
“Though we take the utmost precaution and attempt to mitigate risk through rigorous training and careful planning, we need to train in realistic environments to ensure our forces are ready to respond to any crises.”
“Our sincere condolences go out to the soldier’s family and his unit. Military protocols are being followed regarding next of kin notification. Further information will be made available by the appropriate national authorities,” US Army Europe said.
Earlier media reports said that the paratrooper who died in the accident was a Canadian.
Swift Response 2019 is a US Army Europe-directed exercise led by the US Global Response Force taking place from June 11 to 24 at various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
“Swift Response 19 demonstrates the strategic employment of the US military Global Response Force and validates US European Command’s ability to send high readiness forces into a designated area while advancing airborne interoperability among Nato allies,” the statement said.
(Photo: UK Ministry of Defence)