Special Forces soldier killed during explosion identified, 7 others wounded

Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida from 122nd Aviation Support Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, places an M18A1 antipersonnel claymore in the direction of fire before detonation, during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, N.C., Sept. 16, 2016. Dalida was killed during a traning accident at Fort Bragg. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Adan Cazarez)

Staff Sgt. Alexander P. Dalida has been identified as the soldier who was killed during an explosion at Fort Bragg on Thursday.

The thirty-two-year-old of Dunstable, Massachusetts, was enrolled in the Special Forces Qualification Course at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Dalida joined the Army in 2006 and worked in aviation until attending Special Forces Assessment and Selection.

The Army said students and instructors at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School were doing demolition training on a Fort Bragg range when it happened.

While an initial report from USAWTFM stated that three soldiers were killed and twelve others injured during the Home Made Explosives training module (part of the Special Forces Engineer Sergeant training course), the Army has officially reported one death and seven injuries.

“Our primary focus right now is to care for his loved ones. We will honor Staff Sgt. Dalida and help his family in their time of need,” said Colonel Michael Kornburger, Commander, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).

“The special operations community is a close-knit family. At the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, we consider every student who enters our institution a part of our SWCS family. Staff Sgt. Dalida’s death is a reminder that a soldier’s job is inherently dangerous. Our thoughts and prayers are with Staff Sgt. Dalida’s family and friends,” said Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, Commander of the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Sgt. Alexander Dalida was going to finish his Special Forces training this week, according to his father. He was a husband and father to 14-month-old toddler.

His parents Paul and Diane released a statement Friday morning saying: “Alexander was serving his country proudly for the best of reasons, He was the happiest he’d ever been. Serving his country courageously is my son’s legacy.”

“This is just tragic,” Dalida’s neighbor Steve Morrow said. “Nice kid. When he’d walk by, he’d wave at me. It’s just a tragic situation.”

“He went off to the military and we were very proud,” said Vincent Falco, who is a family friend. “There to serve and protect us and the country. This is devastating.”

Dalida’s military education includes Combatives, Level 1, Enlisted Combat Skills, MH-60 Maintainer, MH-60 Nonrated Crew Member, Basic Leader Course, Air Movement Operations, SOC Equipment Preparation, Airborne training, Advanced Leaders Course, Air Assault and SERE School.

His awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak-leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with oak-leaf cluster, Army Good Conduct medal (third award), the Combat Action Badge, Aviation Badge, Parachutist’s Badge and Air Assault Badge.

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