A Navy SEAL who died in a free-fall parachuting accident this week during training exercises in Arizona was identified as Brett David Shadle of Elizabethville, Pa.
The accident happened on Thursday near the Pinal Airpark in Marana, Ariz., where military training is frequently conducted. It sent another sailor to the hospital where he remains in stable condition, officials said.
Shadle, 31, enlisted in the Navy in 2000 and completed his SEAL training one year later. He was assigned to the Navy’s East Coast Special Warfare Unit, according to information provided by Naval Special Warfare Command. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan and had numerous awards and medals including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and two Bronze Stars with Valor.
The Associated Press and others reported that Shadle was a member of SEAL Team Six, some of whose members famously carried out the 2011 raid at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Osama bin Laden was killed. A Naval Special Warfare spokesman declined to confirm the team to which Shadle was assigned.
A ex-SEAL Team Six member who served with Shadle told ABC News that Shadle was “one of the best SEALs I've ever worked with.”
“His reputation was that of a great operator, a true friend and a nice guy."
In a statement, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she was ordering flags at state buildings flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday.
Referring to Shadle as a member of SEAL Team Six, Brewer said "Arizona grieves today for an American hero who has lost his life in service to this country."
"Chief Shadle, 31, was highly decorated and had served this country during deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. His death illustrates once again the daily risks our service members face at home and abroad, whether in combat or training."
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