One year ago The Gold Demonstration Team flew to Kemah Texas to jump onto the Boardwalk for the “Salute to Military Service”. Though the size of the target never changes, the area around it sure does-the Kemah Boardwalk is noted as one of the most difficult jumps of the year due to the buildings and trees surrounding it. The Team took off as scheduled but was faced with weather conditions that were close to the limits for an area that size. As the narrator, SFC Dustin Peregrin, stepped out of the aircraft he was faced with conditions beyond safety limits and proceeded to make the most difficult jump he had ever made. After landing safely the call was made to cancel the rest of the jumpers and end the show early. Even though jump did not go as planned the team was offered another chance to try again and redeem themselves.
This year as the team took to the skies they were met with clouds that pushed the Golden Knights distinctively painted C-31 down to 2500 feet and looking to get worse in a short while. Hopes were still high for the jumpers after hearing that the winds on the ground were light and coming out of the right direction making for an optimal approach to the boardwalk. As the jumpers left the plane in a signature Golden Knight stack out fashion cheers from the over 2000 people surrounding the target could be heard. The jump was a success as everyone made it in and hit the target one after another. You couldn’t ask for more appreciation from not only the sponsors but the people of Texas as everyone within view of the event wanted to come talk to and take pictures with the team. This jump concludes the travel season for the Gold Demonstration Team leaving only local jumps, the team can enjoy some long awaited downtime before heading off to winter training with the newest members of the Golden Knights.
The United States Army Parachute Team was honored to be apart of the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Army TEN-MILER Race held at the Pentagon. The Golden Knights were able to take seven jumpers into the race from an altitude of 4’950 feet! Team 6 Pilots CW4 Jason Davis and DAC Mr. Frank Reiner had the daunting task of delivering the team to exit altitude via our Twin Otter aircraft. The morning started at 5:00a.m. for the team and weather was 44 degrees and clear skies; perfect flying weather for the jumpers. Team 6 flew Sunday under conditions not normal for most jump pilots, the team was jumping into airspace shared by Reagan International Airport. The airspace was tight and the flying was spot on perfect for the jumpers.
The team performed a mass formation narrated by SSG Kevin Presgraves. SSG Presgraves exited the aircraft at 7:10a.m. into the early morning light over the Pentagon and descended upon the 30’000 race fans. Shortly there after the remaining of the team would exit and land on the streets below. After jumping into the cold weather and landing jumpers SSG Tom Melton and SSG Tom Pryjda completed the race in just under 80 minutes!
Gold Team looks forward to this single jump each year and can’t wait for the 2013 Army Ten-Miler to begin!
In 1846 during the Mexican-American War, a detachment of Marines from the second-class Sloop-of-War Cyane landed to raise the American flag above the Plaza in what’s now called Old Town. As a result of that war, the U.S. acquired San Diego and the rest of California. At that time, today’s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar was part of an enormous rancho. Cattle grazed on the mesa now covered by runways. During the 1940s, both the Navy and the Marine Corps occupied Miramar. East Miramar (Camp Elliott) was used to train Marine artillery and armored personnel, while Navy and Marine Corps pilots trained on the western side. The bases were combined and designated Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in 1945. After several years of realignment Miramar came close to being sold back to the City of San Diego but after an absence of 50 years, MCAS Miramar is once again the home of the Marine Corps’ West Coast air power.
The MCAS Miramar Air Show is the largest military air show in the country hosting over 30 performers and bringing in an estimated 500,000 spectators. The Gold Demonstration Team had the honor of opening the three day event by flying in the American Flag every morning and also flying with the team was the Navy Parachute Team “Leap Frogs”. The two teams joined forces to show the people of San Diego what real precision skydiving and target accuracy is. The team also was scheduled to perform a twilight jump on Saturday evening and was invited by the Blue Angels to jump out of there C-130 “Fat Albert”. This was the first time for some of the team to ride in Fat Albert and experience the extreme take off and Zero Gravity roll over which brought smiles to everyone on board and was a great start to the night performance.
The team was welcomed and appreciated for their performances by the citizens of San Diego and the commended by the MCAS Miramar Commander Colonel J.P Farnam by receiving a copy of the original art work from the air show poster. Over all this air show was great success and an awesome place for the team to be for their last trip to the west coast.