The American public sees the high flying, black and gold of the US Army Parachute Team during each of our performances. Whether it is displayed at an air show, football game, military event, or special appearance, we strive to bring a positive light to America’s armed forces.
The Golden Knights have many different performances, from different altitudes, with different parachutes, and in many different wind conditions. If we were to rely on our scheduled performance jumps alone, each Team member would struggle to stay current with each of these different maneuvers. This is where our highly valued, “Down-Time” between performances, comes into play.
In the skydiving community flying head down is quite a common position for various formations, but today it was something quite different for members of the U. S. Army Parachute Team. Golden Knights and it caused quite a splash! Instead of falling out of the sky from 13,000 feet, the teams were falling into a royal blue pool of cool water for annual water training. (more…)
The Gold Demonstration Team completed another successful air show weekend in the clear blue skies over the rolling Black Hills at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Ellsworth AFB is located only 35 minutes from Mount Rushmore. Several of the Team members were able to make the drive to visit the well-known American landmark, and were inspired by its beauty. The Golden Knights and service members around the world strive to emulate the type of teamwork and dedication achieved by the pioneers who constructed Mount Rushmore.
During the Dakota Thunder Air show weekend, the Gold Demonstration Team completed three parachute jumps and conducted multiple television, radio, and newspaper interviews, wrapping up the weekend with a special visit to a local WWII vet who was unable to come to the air show.
SSG Matt Acord and SGT Rachel Medley of the GK Tandem Section augmented the Gold Demonstration Team to complete three parachute jumps from 12,500 feet. At 7:30 pm Friday, the Golden Knight team members opened the show, painting the blue sky with streaks of red smoke in a six-man freefall formation. Saturday the team completed two similar mass formation jumps, followed by a maneuver known as canopy relative work. SFC JD Berentis and SGT Richard Sloan linked their canopies together in midair and flew them to the target area.
Saturday evening after the Air show was completed, members of the Golden Knights made the 30 minute drive to visit World War II vet Mr. Mel Parlet. Mel is a native of Rapid City, SD and has attended every air show at Ellsworth AFB for the past 50 years. Due to illness, this was the first air show he could not attend, so the Team came to him. He regaled the jumpers with stories of his days overseas as a medic on flights from mainland Europe to England on a C-47 with wounded Soldiers on board. He was immensely touched that the Golden Knights came to see him, and the visit left each of the Team members with a deeply renewed reverence and gratitude for our veterans.
We would like to thank Mel and the many other service members who continue to risk their lives daily to promote freedom and protect the American way of life. Blue skies!