SFC Carlo J. Meth - Special Forces Soldier dies in training

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Parachutist died to save another

By Kevin Maurer
Staff writer
Fayetteville Observer

The Fort Bragg Special Forces soldier who died Wednesday during HALO — high-altitude, low-opening — training sacrificed himself to save another jumper, special operations sources said Friday.

The sources said the soldier and another jumper became entangled during a training jump at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport. The soldier cut away his parachute to save the other jumper, the sources said.

HALO parachutists do carry reserve chutes, but it’s unclear if the reserve played a role in the accident.

The soldier was in the 7th Special Forces Group. The soldier’s name is being withheld pending notification of his family.

In a typical HALO exercise, the parachutist will jump from the aircraft at about 12,000 feet and open his parachute at a low altitude. A HALO jump is used to secretly slip soldiers into enemy territory.

The technique gets jumpers out of sight in a hurry, and they are less vulnerable to dangers or radar detection, according to GlobalSecurity.org.

One drawback is that jumpers exit the aircraft over enemy territory, making the aircraft vulnerable to air defenses.

Military Names Ft. Bragg Soldier Killed in Training Accident

Fort Bragg — A Fort Bragg soldier who died in a parachute accident during training was an immigrant from Colombia and a highly decorated Green Beret.

Military authorities on Saturday identified Sgt. 1st Class Carlo J. Meth, 35, of North Dakota, as the soldier who died during training at Laurinburg-Maxton Airport on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Officials had previously withheld his name, pending notification of family.

The accident occurred during HALO – high altitude, low opening – training. Soldiers learn in these exercises to jump from very high altitudes and wait until they are close to the ground to open their parachutes so that they can evade detection by enemies.

Special Forces officials said there are no plans to suspend future HALO jumps while the fatal incident is investigated.
Meth, who was born in Colombia, was assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg.

Meth enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in October 1990 and earned the coveted Green Beret in 2005.

He served in Afghanistan in 2003 and had also been deployed to the Horn of Africa, Bosnia and Egypt.
Meth was survived by his daughter, Nikole, of Ontario, Canada, and his parents, Curtis and Linda, of Guthrie, OK.
His awards and decorations include six Army Commendation Medals, six Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, Kosovo Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global on War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, two Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, United Nations Medal, Multinational Force and Observers Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab.
SFC Meth's family lives in the area I grew up, 20 minutes from my family now. The entire area is mourning the loss of a true hero, but his daughter and parents definitely have extensive support in this time of tragedy. Their loss is the world's, as well.

Godspeed to a true hero.
Rest easy Soldier.

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice to this great Nation.