Soldier Killed At Fort Bragg Was Training To Be Green Beret

Sep 15, 2017

Updated 2:28 p.m., Sept. 15, 2017

A soldier killed in a demolition accident was training to become a Green Beret experienced in handling explosives.

Staff Sgt. Alexander Dalida of Dunstable, Massachusetts, died Thursday at Fort Bragg during training exercises involving demolitions.

Investigators haven't said whether an explosion caused his death, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt said Friday.

Seven other soldiers were injured. Bockholt said he did not know what their conditions were.

All of the soldiers were students from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, which is based at Fort Bragg, Army officials said.

Dalida, 32, was enrolled in an approximately yearlong course to become part of the U.S. Army Special Forces, also known as Green Berets. He was learning engineering skills as part of the course in which students are trained in occupational specialties. Special Forces engineers are specialists in demolitions, and also have skills necessary for building field fortifications and bridges, according to the Army's recruiting website.

His previous military training included working with MH-60 helicopters, airborne operations and learning how to survive while evading capture.

"Staff Sgt. Dalida's death is a reminder that a Soldier's job is inherently dangerous," Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, the school's commander, said in a statement.

Updated 7 p.m., Sept. 14, 2017

The Army says a soldier injured during a training exercise at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has died. 

Lt. Col. Robert Bockholt says in a news release that 32-year-old Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida of Dunstable, Massachusetts, died during a training exercise Thursday. Bockholt said the cause of death is under investigation.

Dalida was assigned to 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne), U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg. He enlisted in the Army in 2006.

The Army's Special Operations Command said the students hurt Thursday were from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and they were at a range on base.

3:52 p.m.

 Eight U.S. special operations forces were injured Thursday during a training exercise involving demolitions at Fort Bragg, according to an Army spokesman.

The soldiers were taken to several hospitals including the Womack Army Medical Center on base for treatment, said Lt. Col. Rob Bockholt, a spokesman for the U.S. Army's Special Operations Command, which is based at Fort Bragg.

Bockholt didn't know the extent of the soldiers' injuries.

Initial reports said the injuries happened in an explosion, but Bockholt says he could not confirm that.

"There was an incident that occurred on one of the ranges," Bockholt said, adding that the command is investigating. "We're looking into exactly what happened."

The soldiers were students from the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and they were at a range on base, the Army said.

A day earlier, eight Marines were rushed to a burn center and seven others also were hospitalized following a fire in their amphibious vehicle during training at Camp Pendleton in California.

Also, a soldier was killed Tuesday night during hoist training for medical helicopter evacuations at Fort Hood in Texas.

About 57,000 military personnel are attached to Fort Bragg, located next to Fayetteville, North Carolina. It is the largest Army installation by population and one of the largest in the world, covering about 161,000 acres.

The Special Operations Command has about 23,000 soldiers spread over several sites.

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