Throughout our armed services, there has always been a friendly competition. However, every Soldier knows that when the time comes, we all rely on each other for support. Soldiers on the ground need air support. Downed pilots need a recovery team. The list goes on. This weekend, Black Team had the opportunity to demonstrate inter-service cohesion, as they worked hand-in-hand with the Navy Parachute Team, the “Leap Frogs.”
During all four performances, The US Army Parachute Team and the US Navy Parachute Team operated as one, sharing an aircraft and time in the sky. Saturday and Sunday mornings’ jumps brought the Teams together as they stepped out of the Golden Knights’ C-31 jump aircraft at 12,500 feet. The two parachute Teams worked together, building a geometric formation, during free fall at 120 miles per hour. Additionally, a combined Canopy Relative Work (CRW) 2-Stack was built for the opening ceremony, when the American Flag was flown in by members of both Teams.
After each group visited their respective recruiting displays for packing demonstrations, autographs and photos, both returned to the sky, yet again. Each afternoon yielded time for the Golden Knights’ Full Show. The Leap Frogs joined us once more, to put on their CRW performance for the crowd of 100,000 spectators.
While the Golden Knights are the Army’s official aerial demonstration Team and the Leap Frogs represent the US Navy, each Team prides themselves in building awareness for all of our military services. While there has always been a healthy rivalry between separate branches, we will always support each other and fight side by side, each and every day! During the Rockford Airfest 2011, we all took pride in showing this image, as a reality.