HURLBURT FIELD — An online GoFundMe effort to provide for the wife and two young daughters of a Hurlburt Field airman presumed dead after a parachuting accident last week is continuing to move rapidly toward its $100,000 goal.
PHOTOS: Remembering Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff
Meanwhile, the Air Force and Navy are continuing their efforts to recover any remains or personal effects of Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, the 29-year-old Air Force Special Tactics airman who was blown out of a four-engine C-130 aircraft and into the Gulf of Mexico during a Nov. 5 parachute training exercise.
PHOTOS: Search for missing Hurlburt airman
As the recovery effort continues, the Air Force’s 24th Special Operations Wing, of which Condiff had been a part, and its 1st Special Operations Wing, the host unit at Hurlburt Field, “are contributing the majority of the active recovery team assets, along with the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 (EODGRU 2) out of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story,” according to the 24th SOW’s public affairs office.
In addition to its explosive ordnance disposal work, the Virginia-based EODGRU 2 handles diving and salvage work, according to information from a Navy website.
According to a 24th SOW spokeswoman, recovery efforts are being conducted on a daily basis, weather permitting.
In an emailed Wednesday response to questions from the Daily News, the 24th SOW public affairs office noted that beyond the two Air Force wings and Navy EOD unit now leading the recovery effort, the array of other military units that had participated in the search “continue to stand ready for any specific needs that may arise.”
The Wednesday email also noted that “(s)pecific assets being utilized fluctuate based on needs at any given time. The recovery efforts remain a 24/7 operation as long as conditions and resources allow.”
Recovery crews are “constantly refining and adjusting the search area as efforts continue as well as searching for any objects that may lead to a recovery,” according to the email.
“Focusing on these efforts and taking care of Cole’s family is our highest priority,” the email added.
Meanwhile, as of late Tuesday afternoon, the fundraising effort on behalf of Rachael Condiff and her two young daughters, online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-condiff-family , had topped $79,000.
Many of the GoFundMe donors continue to include heartfelt messages with their donations.
One woman who made a $200 contribution wrote: “I had the pleasure of meeting Cole only a few weeks ago during an airman gathering. He made us feel very welcome and I was struck by his friendliness and sense of humor. I'm so sorry for this tremendous loss and will keep Cole's family in our hearts and prayers.”
The Air Force is calling the incident an “unplanned parachute departure” from the aircraft. Earlier this week, Condiff’s father, praising the Air Force for their openness, said his son’s parachute accidentally deployed while he was performing safety checks among the other airmen aboard the aircraft.
An investigation into the incident is under way. In a recent email, the 24th SOW public affairs office said the “Air Force has procedures for reviewing incidents from a safety perspective and we are following those procedures according to Air Force Instruction 91-204, Safety Investigations and Reports.”
Air Force instructions are mandatory policies or guidelines. Under AFI 91-204, investigative responsibility for the incident likely falls to Air Force Special Operations Command, headquartered at Hurlburt Field.