Week three went like any other week in GKAS, with one exception. The workload increased, the amount of people to shoulder that load decreased. Since the beginning of GKAS we have decreased in size from sixteen candidates to twelve. However, the standards haven’t decreased, as a matter of fact they have gotten higher. Every week more and more tasks are piled on our already full plates. From narration additions, to new projects, to increased amounts of weekend details.
Week three gave us a second chance to use the Paraclete wind tunnel for training. Thursday was a complete bust due to weather. Thankfully SFC Krause, Team Leader of the Golden Knight’s 8-way Team, was happy to share tunnel time with us. We practiced the diamond formation. Each tryout had about ten minutes in the tunnel perfecting the skills required to fly a “tight” diamond formation. SFC Windmiller also coached us on how to watch the diamond leader closely for subtle changes and heading corrections. Changing the angles and headings properly as a unit was challenging, but we all gave our best. As SSG Dunning puts it “we’re not looking for the best you can do, we’re looking for the best it can be done.”
Saturday we were rewarded with a surprise visit from Miss Anna Capps, eleven years old from Whiteville, North Carolina. She, her father and Grandfather (John McCrae of Scotland Aero Services) stopped by to visit us at our training area in Laurinburg. It was a great learning experience for us as tryouts, as well as for Anna. We experienced what it is like conversing with young Americans about parachuting, and the Army. We autographed posters for Anna and her family and talked her through packing a parachute. She was very excited to assist us. It was a small yet valuable glimpse of what the future holds after GKAS.