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Marine killed in jump incident, Corps suspends double-bag static line jumps

A Marine was killed in a parachute incident that occurred Monday at the Multi-Mission Parachute Course in Coolidge, Arizona.

Because of the accident, the Corps has suspended all double-bag static line parachute operations until further notice, Marine spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena said in a news release Tuesday.

An initial investigation into the mishap has been launched, which will be followed by a Safety Investigation board that will include input from experts, Pena said.

A static line jump involves a line connected to the chute. When a jumper exits the aircraft, the static line still hooked inside of the aircraft catches and pulls the chute free.

A double-bag static line jump involves a pilot chute and a main chute, but the static line is connected to a drogue chute. A jumper hooks the static line inside the aircraft before exiting, and gravity pulls the drogue chute.

The jump course in Coolidge, Arizona, familiarizes Marines with the Multi-Mission Parachute System, which has been operational in the Corps for nearly ten years.

It replaced the old MC-5 chutes, which were capable of only static-line and freefall jumps.

The Multi-Mission Parachute System provides more flexibility to the Corps by offering more configurations that allow Marines to use the chute with drogue and pilot chutes — which assist in deploying a main chute.

A Military Times investigation in early 2017 found an alarming rise in parachute deaths within the special operations community. Since 2004, there have been 21 parachute mishaps, five of those involved static-line jumps.

The name of the Marine, who was in training with the School of Infantry-West, will not be released until 24 hours after next of kin notification.

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