320th STS Airman dies after training mishap

Tech. Sgt. Sean Barton (U.S. Air Force photo)

Tech. Sgt. Sean Barton (U.S. Air Force photo)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Tech. Sgt. Sean Barton, an Air Force Special Operations Command pararescueman assigned to the 320th Special Tactics Squadron, died Oct. 30 from injuries sustained after a rappelling training incident during a joint exercise training event near Kathmandu, Nepal.

The cause of the incident is currently under investigation.

"Sean was a selfless leader on our team,” said Capt. Michael Erickson, 320th STS combat rescue officer and Tech. Sgt. Barton’s team leader. “He aggressively pursued excellence with a smile on his face and laughter never far behind. His love for his family, loyalty to his team and relentless determination serve as an example for us all."

Tech. Sgt. Barton joined the Air Force in 2003 and deployed multiple times to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a master parachutist, military freefall master parachutist, combat dive supervisor and recovery team leader.

His decorations include seven Air Medals, one Air Achievement Medal, two Air Force Commendation Medals, one Air Force Achievement Medal and one Army Achievement Medal.

The 320th STS is part of the 353rd Special Operations Group, the focal point for all AFSOC activities in the U.S. Pacific Command theater. The group is based out of Kadena Air Base, Japan, to provide air support of joint and allied special operations forces in the Pacific.

For more information, contact the AFSOC public affairs office at (850) 884-5515.