EGLIN AFB — Several U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) soldiers were injured in a training accident earlier this week at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, 7th Group spokesman Maj. Andrew Harshbarger confirmed Friday.
The Wednesday accident injured a total of 12 people — not all from the 7th Group — and additionally claimed the life of 34-year-old Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess of Belton, Missouri, assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne), at Fort Bragg, N.C.
"Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Jacob Hess," Col. Patrick Colloton, commander of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a statement. "We have them in our thoughts and prayers."
Harshbarger said none of the injuries to 7th Group personnel were life-threatening. He referred further questions to the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, of which the 7th Group is a part.
"All service members involved were evaluated and screened for injuries," Maj. Beth Riordan, director of public affairs for 1st Special Forces Command, said in a news release on the accident. The news release did not specify the type of training accident that occurred at Fort Polk, but Army Times was reporting that it involved the rollover of a military vehicle.
The news release also did not identify any soldiers involved in the accident other than Hess, but did note that an investigation by the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, headquartered at Fort Rucker, Alabama, is continuing.
In addition to the 7th Group troops, the other military personnel injured in the accident are assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Bragg and the 72nd Military Police Company, a Nevada Army National Guard unit headquartered in Las Vegas.