The Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted the 2012 Miami Beach Veteran’s Day Parade at Flamingo Park. Black Team was given the chance to perform the first parachute demonstration into this South Beach event. The Team was also afforded another very unique opportunity to put this event in the record books by jumping in the US Honor Flag. The US Honor Flag, which is registered national treasure to commemorate the events at ground zero on September 11, 2001, was flown in by SGT Jonathan Lopez.
The US Honor Flag pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, while protecting our lives, homes and country. It also represents those who currently serve to protect our communities and nation. This flag has traveled more miles than any other US flag in American history and has a very distinguished past. You can discover the Honor Flag’s full story at www.ushonorflag.org.
Black Team had to overcome some of the tricky wind conditions of South Beach. Each of the jumpers landed safely and accurately, showing the product of quality training and discipline. The same quality shared across America’s Army. Our demonstrators landed to the cheers and applause of the very excited parade goers filling the stands. Concluding the Team’s performance was the ceremonial exchange of the Honor Flag back to the Miami Beach Police Department’s Honor Guard.
On Thursday, the 1st of November, Black Team departed for their final air show loop, for the 2012 season. Although there are still more events, this was our final “air show.” This is a relatively unique opportunity for the Golden Knights, as well. Homestead is the winter home of the U.S. Army Parachute Team’s Demonstration and Tandem sections. Homestead ARB opens their doors and hospitality to us at the start of each season, so we were delighted to return and close out the final air show at their doorsteps.
To kick off the weekend, Black Team jumped into Sun Life Stadium for Thursday’s University of Miami vs. Virginia Tech football game. Friday’s Media performances consisted of both, opening the show and also, closing out the evening with a night pyro jump, from 12,500 feet.
Saturday and Sunday’s shows allowed Black Team to show its potential with perfect weather and light winds. Exiting from 2 ½ miles above southern Florida, the Team performed a free fall formation each day, with Canopy Relative Work. Landing on the center of the 10ft x 10 orange “X,” we couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out our final air show.
We were delighted to support the local Army recruiters, as well as visit other community members, who have continuously welcomed the Parachute Team with open arms. With the proud military support in Homestead, Florida, we will always continue looking forward to our next visit.
The Golden Knights Competition Team just returned from a very successful 2012 US National Skydiving Championships, held in Eloy, Arizona. 50 Gold medals and 8 Bronze were won by the Golden Knight Competitors in 4 different Formation Skydiving events- 4-Way, 8-Way, 16-Way, and 10-Way Speed. Members of the GK 8-Way Team also earned the Combined Overall Champion Gold Medals for the second consecutive year.
Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment at this year’s National Championships was the performance by the Golden Knights Female 4-Way Team (GKF4). For the first time in US National history an all Female 4-Way Team made it onto the Podium, earning 3rd Place with a personal best 208 total points. But it wasn’t without a fight- GKF4 entered round 10 of competition 1 point down from 3rd place. As the audience watched the live judging in high anticipation, GKF4 won Round 10 by 2 points, thereby securing the Bronze and more importantly a place in US Competitive Skydiving History. Later that evening at the Award Ceremony the crowd erupted as GKF4 was called to the Podium, the kind of cheering that sends chills down your spine. There was no questioning the magnitude of the accomplishment achieved by the Golden Knights Female 4-Way Team.
The Golden Knights 8-Way Team (GK8) stepped into action next, with the Russian National 8-Way Team present to challenge the Knights’ reigning Championship. GK8 started off with a very strong Round 1, and never looked back. The Russians were able to tie GK8 on 2 rounds, but that is as close as they would come. GK8 finished the 10 rounds with 219 points, which ties their personal best performance in Competition. The Russian National 8-Way Team finished in 2nd place as a “Guest” Team with 191 points.
The Golden Knights also defended their National Titles in 16-Way and 10-Way Speed with Arizona Airspeed taking 2nd in both events. With very successful Nationals under their belts, GK8 and GKF4 will continue to train for the upcoming World Parachuting Championships in Dubai. The Golden Knights will represent the United States and the Army as they go head-to-head with top teams from around the World. Army Strong!
Here are a few clips from the show: