During the annual training in Homestead Florida the new team members learn what it means to become a professional demonstrator and the work that goes into it. Over the weekend both the Black and Gold Demonstration Teams showed where all that hard work goes by jumping into the Homestead Rodeo. Since the Golden Knights have been coming to Florida for their training they have also been jumping into the rodeo in support of the local community and to give the new members their first look at how to put on a performance.
On Saturday the skies were blue with light winds making it perfect conditions for the jump. As the team left the plane the cheers of the crowd below over took the music that was playing and the voice of the narrator SGT Trey Martin who flew in the POW/MIA flag. The screams could even be heard by the jumpers after they opened their parachutes and lasted all the way till the last knight touched down. Sunday was supposed to be a repeat of the fantastic performance except high winds and low clouds forced the team to cancel the jump just minutes before. Even though the second jump did not happen the people of Homestead still showed their appreciation to the ground crew as they packed up.
The United States Army Parachute Team began Winter Training at Homestead, ARB today in a sweltering 80-degree weather.
The Black and Gold Demonstration Teams jumped right through the day with picturesque gray, blue and huge white puffy clouds and even a slight bit of rain.
World Record Swoop Champion, Sergeant 1st Class Greg Windmiller gave a very intricate class to about twelve team members in canopy proficiency.
The newest team members that graduated from the Assessment and Selection Program in October seemed a little tense but very eager to get started, while the senior members where just happy to get back to training.
Each new guy is assigned an old guy to mentor and advise through out the show season, beginning with the intense two months of winter training.
Today both demonstration teams completed eight jumps before the liquid sunshine came in to nourish our beautiful bright green-sodded drop zone.
The Sun Bowl is the second oldest college bowl game in the United States right behind the Rose Bowl and is played at the end of the year in El Paso Texas. For over 20 years the Golden Knights have had the honor of jumping in for the opening ceremonies making it a pregame tradition and the Gold Demonstration Team had the honor of carrying on that tradition. Unfortunately upon throwing the Wind Drift Indicators prior to the jump the winds were well over the limitations for the team to jump safely. The team held out as long as possible before canceling but still gave fans a glimpse of Golden Knight Air by flying over the stadium all the way to kick off. After landing and making it back to the stadium the team was still received well by the sponsors and loyal fans giving handshakes and hi-fives as the jumpers passed by. Even though the jump was canceled no one was disappointed and the team was told that they will still be asked for again next year.