November 15, 2019 – Today the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) began continuous 24-hour operations to recover U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff who made an “unplanned plane departure” from a C-130 over the Gulf of Mexico November 5.
“The death of Staff Sgt. Condiff is devastating and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his unit,” said Capt. Aaron Peters, NSWC PCD commanding officer. “We are hopeful that our efforts bring him home and offer some measure of relief to his family.”
An NSWC PCD crew launched the R/V Patriot equipped with Klein side-scan sonars, six unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), and three remotely operated vehicles (ROV). The side-scan sonar technology is monitored around the clock by multiple operators and will allow for more search time on station.
The UUVs will search the 29 square kilometers area and any data retrieved will be examined by the ROV.
NSWC PCD conducts research, development, test, and evaluation of mine warfare systems, mines, naval special warfare systems, diving and life support systems, and other missions that occur in the littoral or coastal regions. NSWC PCD has been called to support similar recovery operations in the past.