SSG Josh Coleman stows reserve lines as SPC Jesse Stahler observes.
The Golden Knights’ Competition Team had a great 2011 season, and is now preparing for 2012. First things first- parachute maintenance. The Competition Team has 34 parachute systems that must be serviced and maintained throughout the year. The majority of work falls on the shoulders of the 5 certified Parachute Riggers within the Competition Team.
Reserve parachutes must be opened, inspected, and repacked every 180 days. The Riggers are extremely meticulous when packing these life-saving devices, taking well over an hour to complete one reserve parachute. In comparison, a main parachute is repacked in under 10 minutes. As Golden Knights, we literally trust our lives in the hands of our Teammates, and we have total confidence in them.
SFC Kurt Isenbarger attaches a new line to the canopy.
On an average year, Competitors make between 500-800 jumps, and the parachute lines do wear as you would expect. As such, Competitors must replace line sets every 400 jumps. This is no easy task, as every line must be attached to a specific place on the parachute to provide the proper trim for glide angle and performance. In preparation for the 2012 season, the majority of the 34 parachute systems will receive a new line set as well as a fresh reserve pack. With all of the parachute maintenance complete, the Golden Knights’ Competition Team will be fully mission ready for the 2012 Competition Season, where they will represent the USA at the 2012 World Parachuting Championships in Dubai.
SSG Justin Blewitt and SFC Kurt Isenbarger focus while attaching new lines.
SPC Jesse Stahler packs a reserve under the supervision of SSG Josh Coleman.
The US Army Golden Knights Competition Team nearly swept all four Formation Skydiving events at the 2011 US Nationals, thereby earning the title of Combined Overall Champions for the first time in over a decade. (more…)
Gold Team arrived Thursday afternoon with their sights on a special weekend. They would be conducting joint operation Military Free-Fall (HALO) jumps with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and take part in celebrating their 50th reunion. Friday morning Gold team started the day with meeting the halo teams from 5th SFG (A). With an entire day scheduled of training jumps, the Team members paired off with solo HALO jumpers and provided coaching as well as video and still picture assistance. Traveling with Gold Team, 8-way competitors also brought their experience to the table and delivered some great coaching for the HALO teams of 5th group. After a full day of training with the HALO teams, Gold Team walked away with a few new friends and memories they won’t soon forget.
The next afternoon was the jump into the ceremony, while the day started with mission preparations to ensure smooth operations. Every demonstrator that evening wanted to perform their best to give their new friends, 5thSFG (A), a wonderful and exciting reunion. A tight landing area and a large number of spectators surrounding the area made it an incredible show. The crowd was literally part of the show which made Gold Team even more part of the celebrations.
The night unfortunately came to an end with the saying of Goodbyes and lots of handshakes. The members of Gold Team and other Golden Knight friends all had a great weekend and felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. To take part in a group of elite soldiers celebrating the victories they’ve had for the past 50 years was an esteemed honor. The weekend had been fulfilling and the brothers we’ve made will last a lifetime.