On September 12th the Black Demonstration Team departed Fort Bragg, NC to begin our travels to Pretoria, South Africa for the 2014 Air Show and Defence exhibition held on Waterkloof Airforce Base. With the support of our operations section, the US Embassy and the South African Golden Eagles Parachute Team, we arrived in South Africa on the 15th of September ready to support the air show and share the blue skies with members of the Golden Eagles Parachute Team.
Day one in South Africa was spent setting up and inspecting our gear, familiarization of the base, landing areas, and getting to know our newest friends of the sky, The Golden Eagles! We made two rehearsal jumps on Waterkloof Air Force Base where the team conducted one mass formation jump in addition to a modified full show that included a baton pass, diamond track, and a mini mass formation with a team member of the Golden Eagles Parachute Team Major Constant Benade setting the base.
We performed one stack-out jump above Waterkloof AFB on Sunday afternoon, after low ceiling (clouds) prevented us from jumping that morning. The stack-out performance also included a two-stack canopy relative work display by teammates SSG Chris Clark and gold team member SFC Brian Karst. The estimated 150,000 spectators came alive as our black and gold canopies gracefully landed along the crowd line, while Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” played in the background.
The Black Demonstration Team extends a huge thank you to our friends and family of the Golden Eagles Parachute Team and members of the US Embassy for their hospitality and coordination during our stay in South Africa. We arrived on Fort Bragg Wednesday evening and quickly refit our gear and spent time with family prior to departing to Kansas City, MO in preparation for our Monday Night Football jump into the Kansas City versus the Seattle Seahawks game.
Blue Skies! SSG Shelby Bixler Photos By SGT David Flynn