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During the funeral service following a tragic military drill accident, Jack Fitzgibbon was commemorated as the epitome of excellence and integrity.

A tragic incident has occurred at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney’s south, where an Australian Army special forces soldier lost his life during a parachute training exercise at RAAF Base Richmond on the evening of Wednesday, March 6th.

Lance Corporal Jack Fitzgibbon, the son of former Labor defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon, was a member of the 2nd Commando Regiment (2Cdo). He sustained fatal injuries during the parachute training session.

Richmond’s surroundings are commonly utilized for parachute training due to their proximity to the base, enabling efficient aircraft turnaround for training purposes. Parachute-trained soldiers often engage in jumps from various altitudes, facilitated by aircraft such as the Richmond-based C-130J Hercules, visiting C-27J Spartan, or contracted C-212 aircraft.

Reports indicate that LCPL Fitzgibbon descended from 14,000 feet and encountered a tangled main parachute. He ultimately landed near the Sydney Polo Club alongside the Hawkesbury River northwest of the base.

Brigadier James Kidd, addressing the media, described LCPL Fitzgibbon as a cherished and respected soldier within the 2nd Commando Regiment. He highlighted Fitzgibbon’s courage, sense of humor, and dedication to serving his country, both domestically and abroad.

A formal investigation into the incident has been initiated by the Defence, aiming to enhance safety protocols. Despite the inherent risks of military training, Defence remains steadfast in its commitment to training at the highest standard.

Holsworthy Barracks is also home to the Army’s No 173 Special Operations Aviation Squadron, which previously operated the MRH 90 Taipan helicopter and experienced a fatal crash during a training exercise in July 2023, resulting in the loss of four crew members.

In a statement, Joel Fitzgibbon expressed the family’s devastation and described Jack’s death as a loss felt deeply. He emphasized Jack’s dedication, skill, and bravery as a soldier.

Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, along with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, expressed profound sadness over LCPL Fitzgibbon’s death, highlighting his honorable service and the heavy toll such losses exact on loved ones and comrades.

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