On Wednesday morning Fort Bragg released the identity of the XVIII Airborne Corps soldier killed during a routine jump on Monday.
Army Col. Darron L. Wright, of Mesquite, Texas, the Corps Assistant Chief of Staff, G5, died while conducting a standard MC-6 parachute jump at Sicily Drop Zone.
“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s events and our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” said Lt. Gen. Joe Anderson, commander of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. “The XVIII Airborne Corps has sustained the loss of a superb paratrooper and a magnificent officer who served with marked distinction and honor throughout his career.”
“The loss of this outstanding leader and patriot leaves a void in our team,” said Wright’s deputy, Lt. Col. Michael Moore. “The entire G5 team is saddened and shocked by this tragedy. We will truly miss his leadership, experience and energy.”
Onlookers at Fort Bragg's Sicily Drop Zone saw his parachute malfunction as he plummeted to the ground.
Observers and experienced jumpers described the malfunction as a cigarette roll.
There are two types of malfunctions, total and partial. A cigarette roll malfunction is considered to be a partial malfunction, it provides no lift capability and the jumper must activate his reserve using the pull drop method.
One of the riggers on the drop zone said that Wright was using the MC-6 maneuverable troop parachute, not the issued T-11, but he did not know why.
The MC-6 offers greater maneuverability, exceptional performance in high altitude drop zones and achieves a lower rate of descent compared to the previous MC-1 system. The MC-6 System has replaced all the MC-1 steerable troop parachutes in the US military.
Wright, 46, graduated from the University of North Texas in 1991 and received his commissioned as an infantry officer through the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
Wright’s previous assignments include 1st Corps, Fort Lewis, Wash.; 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; 1st Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Polk, La.; 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with V device, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Iraqi Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Assault, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, and Senior Parachutist Badge.
Wright is survived by his wife and three children.
The last Fort Bragg soldier to die in a parachute training accident occurred on June 25, 2011. Staff Sgt. Jamal Clay of the 82nd Airborne Paratrooper Division died when his parachute malfunctioned during a routine static line night jump at Fort Bragg's Sicily Drop Zone, using the Army's new square-shaped T-11 parachute.