FORT CAMPBELL, KY (ABC4) – A Utah National Guard soldier has died in a training exercise at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
29-year-old Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead died Tuesday afternoon during a water training exercise at the Joe Swing Park Reservoir. Olmstead went underwater while conducting a surface swim and did not resurface.
While a search began immediately, Olmstead’s body was not recovered until Wednesday morning. He was pronounced dead by Fort Campbell emergency medical services after being transported to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
The search was supported by Fort Campbell Fire and Emergency services, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Montgomery County Emergency Medical Services.
“This is an absolute tragedy, especially when we lose someone as capable and promising as Lincoln. said Col. Paul Peters, Commander, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne). “Sometimes we expect this sort of thing in combat, but not during training, which makes this difficult for the unit and especially the family,” he adds.
Governor Spencer Cox released a statement after the death of Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead.
“We are devastated to hear the passing of Staff Sgt. Paul Lincoln Olmstead. Staff Sgt. Olmstead served with valor and courage as a Special Forces Soldier for the Utah National Guard,” Gov. Cox said Friday afternoon. “We honor his sacrifice and commitment to his country.”
Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson posted her reaction on Twitter.
Staff Sgt. Olmstead was born in Springville and graduated from North Sanpete High School in 2010. He had 100 credit hours from Utah State University, where he was working towards a degree in mechanical engineering, according to the National Guard.
Olmstead joined the Utah National Guard on Feb. 8, 2016, and served as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant since Oct. 11, 2019. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The incident remains under investigation.