A Fort Bragg soldier who died during airborne training Monday has been identified as 21-year-old Spc. Abigail Jenks.
Jenks suffered a fatal injury when conducting a static-line jump from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Fort Bragg officials said Wednesday. The specifics of the incident are still under investigation.
She served as a forward observer in 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
"Spc. Abigail Jenks was a creative, hardworking, and confident paratrooper. Her love for art, animals, and her friends reverberated wherever she worked," Capt. Brian Norman, Jenks' battery commander, said in a statement. "Her compassion for fellow paratroopers will be truly missed."
Between 2010 and 2015, 13 soldiers died while conducting parachute training operations, according to the Aerospace Medical Association. Most of the deaths occurred during static-line jumps from C-17 Globemaster aircraft, and 33% of fatalities were the result of "improper or abnormal exit" and "unstable or improper body position."
The study also notes 11% of parachute fatalities were from "entanglement, parachute malfunction" and "dragged on top of the drop zone," and 6% were static-line injuries or drop-zone hazards. In 69% of cases, blunt force trauma was the cause of death.
Jenks is a native of Gansevoort, New York, roughly 50 miles north of Albany. She enlisted in the Army in October 2018, and is survived by her parents.
Her awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Army Parachutist Badge.
-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.