Donnelly Training Area

UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters take part in a training mission at Donnelly Training Area this 2016 file photo (Army photo/John Pennell)

FAIRBANKS - An infantry soldier from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson died Saturday from a gunshot wound he received during live-fire training at the Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely on the Richardson Highway.

Spc. Nicholas Peter DiMona III, 20, was treated by medical personnel on site before being flown by helicopter to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to a U.S. Army news release Monday morning.

The shooting is under investigation, according to the news release.

DiMona, from Medford Lakes, New Jersey, was assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. He joined the Army in 2017 and was stationed in Alaska in April 2018.

In the news release, brigade commander Col. Jason Jones is quoted as describing DiMona as "an outstanding paratrooper with an infectious personality and an uncanny desire to excel no matter the challenge."

Donnelly Training Area is one of multiple Interior training areas operated by Fort Wainwright.

Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell said in Monday morning interview that the training was a ground-based readiness exercise in which approximately 150 soldiers attacked an objective. Exercises are on hold until the investigation is completed.

"What it comes down to is the military is an inherently dangerous line of work. It's just a very dangerous job," Pennell said.

Dangerous military exercises also proved fatal for DiMona's father, Chief Warrant Officer 2nd Class Nicholas P. DiMona II, at the age of 32.

DiMona II was killed on June 22, 2004 when his Apache Longbow helicopter went down during night-time training near Fort Stewart, Georgia, as reported at the time by CBS-affiliate WFMY News 2 of Greensboro, North Carolina.

The 2004 crash also killed Warrant Officer 1st Class William L. Loffer, age 25.

Contact staff writer Robin Wood at 459-7510. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMcity.