​Navy SEAL Accident Ariz. During Special Parachute Exercise

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April 1, 2013
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Brett D. Shadle always had wanted to be a member of the Navy’s most elite special forces unit. A year after enlisting, he made it happen and went on to become a highly decorated member of the Navy’s famed SEAL Team 6.

Navy SEAL Accident Ariz.

U.S. military officials confirmed that Navy SEAL Brett D. Shadle died Thursday in a parachute training accident over the rugged desert of southern Arizona.

The 31-year-old special warfare operator chief collided with another SEAL during an exercise. Shadle was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, where he was pronounced dead. The other SEAL,a n unidentified E-6 petty officer first class, remained in stable condition at the Tucson hospital.

Military officials said the accident was under investigation. Shadle and a fellow SEAL were practicing “routine military free-fall training” when the accident occurred Thursday afternoon, said U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Kenneth McGraw. The SEALs collided in midair and landed in separate areas.

Family members said Shadle, of Elizabethville, Pa., was stationed in Virginia. He was married and had a 2-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.

His uncle, Donald Shadle, 67, of Elizabethville, expressed disbelief, saying his nephew had been on many overseas missions only to come back and get killed during a training exercise.

“He was always a good kid, and he always wanted to be a Navy SEAL and that’s what he did,” Donald Shadle said.

Shadle enlisted in the Navy in July 2000. The following year, he completed his SEAL training and was assigned to his first unit in early 2002.
Navy officials said Shadle had earned multiple Bronze Star medals with Valor and several service ribbons. While details about his deployments were secret, officials confirmed he had served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Navy’s SEAL Team 6 gained international attention when it was revealed that members of the top secret unit had carried out a raid in Pakistan in 2011 in which Osama bin Laden was killed. Bin Laden became the most wanted man in the world after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people.