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Special Tactics Airman killed in off duty incident

Staff Sgt. Jorge A. Hernandez, 26, a Special Tactics combat controller with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, died in an off duty incident in Nashville, Tennessee, Tuesday. The incident is currently under investigation.

Hernandez enlisted in the United States Air Force as a Special Tactics combat controller on Feb. 29, 2012. He immediately entered the two-year combat control training program and upon completion of the pipeline, he was assigned to the 23rd STS, here. The 23rd STS is part of the 720th Special Tactics Group, 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command.

“Jorge was a gregarious individual. Always laughing, smiling, and trying to cheer people up around the squadron. He was the guy who everyone knew because of his spirit and liveliness,” said Maj. Steven Cooper, commander of the 23rd STS. “This is a tragic loss to the Special Tactics community and our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates at this time.”

Hernandez was a qualified military static-line jumper, free fall jumper, and an Air Force qualified combat scuba diver. As a Special Tactics combat controller, Hernandez was specially trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations to conduct global access, precision strike, and personnel recovery operations. He was skilled in reconnaissance operations and air traffic control.

Off-duty, Hernandez spent his time in the local community coaching young children and adults the fundamentals of wrestling. Because of the dedication to his community and his volunteer service, he was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Please direct any media queries to the 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs at 850-884-3902, or at jaclyn.pienkowski@us.af.mil.

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub (www.didvshub.net). The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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