Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Black Team Performance

Story and photos by SGT Rachel Medley and SGT Dan Cook

Everybody knows that Rome was NOT built in a day, and that in order to do anything right, it takes time and preparation. Putting on a freefall demonstration is no momentary or spontaneous feat…and the great deal of preparation that takes place in the days leading up to it are rarely seen by anyone outside the Team.

One of the advance man's duties is to schedule the fuel truck to deliver fuel to the GK aircraft throughout the show. Here, SGT Sean Holland preps the C-31 to receive fuel in Corpus Christi, TX this past weekend (photo by SGT Rachel Medley)

When a person watches the Golden Knights perform an aerial demonstration, the immediate visual experience is thrilling! It starts from two and a half miles above the earth with the smoke, the bomb-burst and the flags flying on the parachutes followed by each Team member landing inside of a 12-inch circle one after the other in quick succession. It’s breathtaking! But if each spectator could see into the inner workings of every performance (more…)

Standing Above the Best!

As Golden Knights, we are Soldiers first, highly trained in one of the hundreds of occupational skills. We are proud to represent the high standards that are reflected in all of America’s Soldiers. This week provides an excellent opportunity to prove just that!

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Black Team Opens the 2011 Season

Every year brings a new show season. It is the culmination of the months spent in Golden Knights Assessment and Selection, hundreds of training jumps and hours of endless training in Homestead, Florida. After every winter training, the Team always has to answer the question, “Was it enough?” This year, Black Team can respond with a resounding, “Yes!”

The Black Demonstration Team had the privilege of introducing two new Team members this year, both of whom were put to the test in front of hundreds of thousands of onlookers! They joined the Team in performing five mass formations for the American Public, from 12,500 feet.

Black Team performed a media show on Friday afternoon for the “Practice day.” Keesler AFB spectators were the first to witness our 2011 team, along with some other first-time 2011 performances, including the Blue Angels.

The Team continued to wow the crowd as they performed twice on Saturday. First, was a mass formation with a show line spread. This is where the Team lands all along the show line, ensuring every patron witnesses a close up view of a Golden Knight landing. After walking along the show line and interacting with the audience at the Army recruiter booth, they quickly returned to the skies.

The second show included a Team line-up where SFC Will Fleming took the honor of standing in front of his 2011 Demonstration Team for the first time.

Perfect weather greeted the Team throughout the weekend, allowing them to perform all five of the scheduled jumps. Sunday turned out another great day of Black Team performances, as well as the rest of the air show line-up.

Black Team proves ready for whatever 2011 can send our way. You can follow the Team on Twitter @ArmyGK

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