HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — At least 22 soldiers have been injured as hundreds parachuted onto a Mississippi military base during a night training exercise.
U.S. Army spokesman John Pennell told WDAM-TV that the paratroopers were among 650 soldiers jumping from C-130 planes Wednesday night. Some were blown off course from their intended landing zone and into a stand of pine trees. Several became entangled in the branches and had to be rescued.
Pennell said at least 15 of the people hurt at Camp Shelby were treated by medics, and another seven were hospitalized. Staff Sgt. John Healy said none of the injuries are considered to be life-threatening.
Camp Shelby Cmdr. Col. Bobby Ginn says the troopers belong to the 4th Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division stationed at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska.
A Mississippi National Guard statement said soldiers were continuing to jump into the drop zone, and once all of them have been accounted for, the training will continue, because “soldiers always place the mission first.” About 3,000 troops from the Alaska base are participating in a monthlong training at Camp Shelby called “Operation Arctic Anvil.”
The statement said “Forrest General Hospital was notified prior to the jump of the potential influx of patients and the types of injuries to be expected and emergency vehicles were on standby at Camp Shelby prior to the jump.”