Navy SEAL, Silver Star recipient dies during free-fall training

Michael T Ernst's wife, two children, and the NSW community are devastated by this loss (Navy SEAL Foundation)

A Navy SEAL died on Feb. 19 during a military free fall training in Marana, Arizona.

The Naval Special Warfare Command identified the sailor as Chief Special Warfare Operator Michael T. Ernst.

He was assigned to a Naval Special Warfare East Coast-based unit, according to Military Times.

After the accident, Ernst was brought to Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix where he was pronounced dead.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ernst family,” said Rear Adm. Keith Davids, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “Mike was an exceptional teammate. He was a dedicated NSW Sailor who applied his talents and skills towards some of our nation’s hardest challenges, while selflessly mentoring his teammates. Mike and his family will always be part of the NSW family, and he will never be forgotten.”

He enlisted in the Navy in August 2009 and his awards and decorations include a Silver Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and three Combat Action Ribbons, among many others.

The Navy said the incident is under investigation and declined to offer any more information.

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