U.S. Army Alaska officials warn residents at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and in East Anchorage that they may hear explosions Friday afternoon while soldiers conduct live-fire training.
Soldiers will fire 105mm howitzers at 1 p.m. as part of a larger, brigade-wide operation in preparation for the Joint Readiness Training Center rotation in April at Fort Polk, La., said Maj. Adam Hallmark, U.S. Army Alaska spokesman.
"Don't be alarmed if you hear the sound of cannon fire; it's just us training," he said.
But there's also a sad story:
A paratrooper at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson died Thursday night after a jump exercise on base earlier in the day, U.S. Army Alaska officials said Friday.
The soldier, assigned to the 2nd Engineer Brigade, collapsed in the Malemute Drop Zone. Medics treated him on scene and called for a medical evacuation, said John Pennell, U.S. Army Alaska spokesman.
"There is no indication the soldier had a hard landing or any equipment malfunction in the jump he had just completed before he collapsed," Pennell said in a statement Friday. "His parachute had been packed away and he was wearing his rucksack when the drop zone safety officer reached him."
The paratrooper was flown to the Providence Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. He died at 8 p.m., Pennell said.