Gold Demonstration Team has just returned from the sunny skies of San Diego, California where the Marine Corps Base was hosting the annual MCAS Miramar Airshow. This is one of the biggest shows of the year, hosting 18 acts, 43 static displays and 1.8 million spectators. The team performed all three days, with a double performance on Saturday for Miramar’s spectacular night show. The airshow host for the weekend was honorary Golden Knight, Mr. Rob Ryder. Rob is an essential part of our team, as he joins us at our Annual Certification Cycle every year to help the newest members of the team learn how to present the Golden Knight narration.
SGT Blake Gaynor started off the show everyday by flying in the US Flag to the National Anthem while Sean Tucker, airplane aerobatics pilot, circled him. To make it even more exciting, at the exact moment that the Anthem ended and the narrator touched ground, two F18′s buzzed the crowd while a wall of fire exploded in the distance. Gold Team would then perform the full show, to include a baton pass, cut-away, diamond track, and a mass formation accompanied by the Navy’s Leap Frogs.
The team presented 4 batons to various Marines for their exceptional service, who were recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty. The recipients included, SGT Keonaona Paulo, SGT JD Coverdale, CPL Brandon McGibbon, and Isabel Urena. The team also presented a lithograph to Lt. Col. Klunk for his organizational help throughout the show.
On Saturday night, the team had perfect lighting for a sunset jump over Miramar. Jumping both pyro and smoke, Trey Martin (videographer), captured a beautiful photograph of the team performing a mass formation with the pacific ocean and the beautiful state of California in the background. After the Golden Knights landed, many more aerial demonstrations were performed by the various acts at the show. Following these performances, the firework show took off with incredible choreographing and led up to the grand finale of the renowned Wall of Fire.
It was a honor and privilege to work with all the many performers over the weekend. The team will look forward to returning to the beautiful state of California and to the Miramar Airshow in the future.
The Gold Demonstration team traveled to West Chester, Pennsylvania over the weekend to perform for the West Chester Rotorfest. SSG Jon Clevenger and SSG Mike Koch supported the local recruiters by attending a high school football game. There they presented one of the high school students with a plaque for demonstrating all of the core Army values. They also assisted in the coin toss as well as awarding coins to each of the team captains, wishing them the best of luck in their game.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather, Saturday was a bust although the team did go to the airfield to meet with the volunteers of the Civil Air Patrol. The team answered questions about the many opportunities the Army can offer and described how the parachute system works and about the mission of the Golden Knights.
Sunday morning the skies opened up with beautiful weather and the team performed two demonstration jumps. The first being a mass formation narrated by SGT Daniel Osorio, and the second being a full show narrated by SSG Mike Koch. The Gold Demonstration team presented a baton, which was flown in freefall, to Mrs. Sherron Trio, one of the major organizers of the airshow. Sadly, this was the last airshow for Gold Team, but we are looking forward to the many sporting events we get to support in the near future.
Gold Demonstration Team had a busy weekend jumping into Washington DC and Delaware. The team had the privilege of jumping into Howard University in downtown DC, where the college was hosting a NCAA Football game. The Golden Knights got the game started with a 4,000 foot stack out, followed by a baton presentation to Wayne AI Frederick, the President of the School, as well as Coach Ted White, the football coach. The students were very excited about the jump and cheered for the team as they flew overhead. After the jump and line-up, the team met up with some of the students from the ROTC program to present them with a team lithograph. It was a joy to jump into such a motivated and exciting University.
Immediately following the jump into Howard University, the team loaded up and flew to Deleware for the NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway. The weather could not have been more beautiful for the jump. Since there were no winds, the team was able to perform a formation directly over the race track, causing the Bomb Burst to stretch to all angles of the stadium. Upon opening, the team brought their parachutes in for a nice show line spread, where each member of the team was assigned a different section of the stadium to land in front of. The NASCAR fans made Gold Team feel very welcome as they approached the race track for perfectly soft landings.
Everyone on the Gold Demonstration team felt honored to participate in two great events over the weekend. Until next time, Blue Skies!!
SSG Sherri Gallagher