The Special Tactics airman who died in the fatal swim training incident has been identified.
Hurlburt Field’s 24 SOW officials say Airman First Class Keigan Baker, 24, was found unresponsive after he went missing during a surface training swim at Naval Suport Activity Panama City, Thursday. Baker was an Air Force Special Tactics Combat Contoller assigned to the 24th Special Operations Special Tactics Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field.
“This is a devasting loss to the entire Special Tactics community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Allen, Commander of the 24th SOW. “We are very grateful for Keigan’s willingness to serve our nation and vow to honor his mmemory.”
Baker enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in June 2018, and was recognized as an Honor Graduate at Basic Military Training. After graduation, he immediately entered the two-year combat control training program. Shortly after being assigned to STTS, he left to attend the Special Warefare Pre-dive course at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, followed by the Air Force Combat Dive Course at Naval Support Activity Panama City, Florida.
“Keigan’s loss is felt across the entire training wing, where the safety of our trainees is our top priority,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Parks Hughes, commander of the Special Warfare Training Wing. “We are grateful to all the agencies that assisted with the search and recovery effort. Our thoughts and prayers are with Keigan’s family, friends and teammates.”
Congressman Matt Gaetz issued the following statement today in response to the news of Baker’s death:
“Every day, service members in Northwest Florida assume enormous risks during training exercises as they work tirelessly to enhance our military’s combat readiness…His patriotism and his devotion to serving his country will not soon be forgotten. Our Northwest Florida community and the entire nation mourns the loss of Airman First Class Keigan Baker and join together in prayer for his family during this difficult time.”
The incident is currently under invesstigation.