21-year-old paratrooper died in jump from Blackhawk helicopter at Fort Bragg, Army says

Mark Price
·1 min read

The 21-year-old Army paratrooper who died Monday at Fort Bragg was killed when something went wrong during a helicopter jump, according to the 82nd Airborne Division.

Investigators identified the soldier as 21-year-old Spc. Abigail Jenks, a native of Gansevoort, New York, about 45 miles north of Albany, the division said in a news release.

“Jenks was conducting a static-line jump from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter when she suffered the fatal injury,” the 82nd Airborne reported.

Other details of the incident were not released. An investigation is underway, Army officials said.

Her death marks the second time since September that a Fort Bragg paratrooper has died during static line parachute training, according to the Army Times. In September, a 20-year-old soldier from Louisiana was killed when a parachute malfunctioned during a jump at Fort Stewart in Georgia, the Army said.

“Spc. Jenks was a dedicated Paratrooper, gifted forward observer, loyal friend, and talented artist who consistently made a tremendous impact on all around her,” Lt. Col. Christopher Walsh, commander of the 1-319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, said in the release. “She will be dearly missed.”

Jenks first joined the Army in 2018 and was assigned to Fort Bragg as a paratrooper in 2019, officials said.

She was ranked a specialist and served as a forward observer with the Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Jenks had been awarded the Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and the Army Parachutist Badge.

“Jenks will be posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal,” the Army said.