Last Week’s Event Highlights

Photo 4 (6)The 8-way FST and the Women’s 4-way FST competed in the Paraclete XP Indoor Championships 2015. The Women’s 4-way FST earned third place in the open class behind the top two teams in the country. This year, their average score is 25.4 points compared to 24.1 last year. Their coach, Solly Williams, has mentored the team to better engineer exits from the airplane and be more aggressive with their formations, which has paid off. The Women’s 4-way FST has also been working with Mr. Joshua Orr from the Fort Bragg Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program. The CSF2 Team helps enhance their mental performance. The CSF2 Team will work with the rest of the USAPT over the year. The 8-way team had injuries preventing them from competing as a full 8-Way team. Instead, they broke up, combining with two collegiate teams to coach and compete with other members of the skydiving competition community. The 8-Way Team received great feedback on their course of action and drew several more teams to the competition. The 8-Way also chose four men who competed in the 4-way competition. Despite not training for 4-Way, they managed to take the fifth place out of 14 teams.

At Homestead ARB, FL, videographer Mr. Randy Swallows worked with the Demonstration and Tandem Teams on techniques for freefall photography and videography. Mr. Swallows taught the class how to pick the best settings and equipment based on the environment and type of shot desired. His recommendations for new equipment and placement for Army branding to ensure the best marketing exposure on our photos and videos were simple and economical.

Though the Team faced many weather delays for winds, the Team focused on full show demonstration maneuvers and integrating wing suits into the show.

USAPT would like to congratulate the Formation Skydiving Teams for their work in the Paraclete XP Indoor Championships; the Women’s 4-way FST for taking third place and the 8-Way FST for their creativity and effort to stay active in the event while combining with collegiate Teams. Their hard work and dedication exemplify what it takes to be part of the Army Team.

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Gold Team Lighting Up the Skies

IMG_1107   As Gold Team kicked off the very early mornings of week five, we were all eager to start our reverse cycle night jump training. Our mornings started off at 2:30 am, with the first jump of the day at 4 am. Beginning with stack outs, the newest team members were introduced to the workings of our pyrotechnic set up as a new part of their jump equipment. Much like the smoke brackets used during daytime performances, pyro allows spectators to see us in the air at any altitude, but now under dark night skies. As we moved on throughout the week of night jumps, we advanced quickly onto mass formations and CRW using pyro and flags, all ending with accurate target landings into the post baseball field.

Although this week’s focus was primarily on our night training, we worked well into each afternoon, training on our newest maneuver, the “world famous” Golden Knight diamond formation. For this maneuver, we have four jumpers exiting the aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 ft. quickly forming a wide diamond in the sky with their smoke trails. At 9,000 ft., the team leader signals the other three jumpers to close in, creating a tight diamond formation with each jumper flying merely inches of each other. At 5,000 ft., the team leader waves off the formation, signaling all jumpers to turn and streak towards the four points of the compass creating an stunning bomb burst in the sky.

Looking ahead, we are extremely honored to once again have the expertise of the Emmy Award winning announcer, and honorary Golden Knight, Rob Reider. He will be working with both demonstration teams, perfecting our narration techniques that will help to greatly enhance an amazing show experience for all of our fans across the country.

Blue Skies!


SPC Alex Bahry and SSG Jon Clevenger pack their main parachutes following a night jump

SPC Alex Bahry and SSG Jon Clevenger pack their main parachutes following a night jump

SFC Jenny Espinosa works on spotting our C-31 Friendship aircraft (SSG Mike Koch)

SFC Jenny Espinosa works on spotting our C-31 Friendship aircraft (SSG Mike Koch)

Gold Team Fourth Week at ACC

Parra-Little After crossDuring week four of ACC, Gold Team worked diligently on diamond tracks. Even with the challenge of having three new team members to teach this demanding maneuver to, we did an excellent job at making our crosses close and more consistent than the team has in the past. During the diamond track, two jumpers must exit the aircraft simultaneously, and track nearly one and a half miles apart. Once at this distance, both turn 180 degrees to find the smoke trail of one another in the sky, and track back towards their partner, crossing within what appears to be inches of each other. This is a very difficult maneuver to learn and perform. Because of the difficulty, each tracking team will perform with only one another throughout the entire season.

Not only did we have a successful week with the diamond track, but we also continued to open out each training morning with CRW. We had an amazing week creating more dramatic formations with our canopies, while also including flags and smoke into the mix.

Looking ahead, we will be starting our reverse cycle, concentrating our focus on night jumps with cold burning pyro. All of us are extremely excited to begin night training, as it is an incredible performance to watch for both our fans and us.

Blue Skies!!

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