Demo Teams Surprise Local School

The skies are looking bright and the Knights are soaring high. As the new fiscal year kicks off, the Demonstration teams are raring to begin performing.

During the past few months, the Demonstration teams have been training together to build on their collective flight skills and target precision. Our training days run the gamut from narration to Canopy Relative Work and big ways to accuracy landings. Below pictures an 11-way over our home drop zone, Laurinburg, NC, taken by SFC Joe Ablen.

Black and Gold Demo Team

Recently the Demonstration teams had the privilege of jumping into one of our local schools on Ft. Bragg, Albritton Middle School, for their Spirit Week. The teams combined their efforts to perform for the enthusiastic students. Gold Team’s, SGT Blake Gaynor, jumped first to test out the high winds over the school and to narrate the show for the rest of the jumpers. The team then did a baton pass, followed by a mass formation lead by the Gold Team Leader, SFC Dustin Peregrin.

Albriton Middle School

The baton was presented to Lora Tensley, who has served in our community’s school systems for the last 30 years. A few of Albritton’s eager students helped the jumpers pack up their parachutes to be jumped again soon, in the North Carolinian Blue Skies.

Parachute Packingbaton presentation (2)

Golden Opportunities – German Jump Wings and Cutaway Training

Gold Team is taking full advantage of our training days at home to perfect our performances for the opening of the show season.  The team is gearing up and is very excited to get on the road and perform again.  This past week was very busy with our annual cutaway training.  The cutaway maneuver is one of the four separate demonstrations conducted during a full show.  Though it sounds and looks very dramatic, there is absolutely no danger to the jumper.  During the cutaway, the jumper is actually wearing three parachutes instead of the two normally worn.  The jumper deploys the first parachute much higher than normal and intentionally causes it to malfunction; demonstrating the procedure that would normally take place should an actually emergency occur.  It is very exciting to watch!

 This past Wednesday, Golden Knights from several sections of the Team came together to conduct a jump with German ambassadors, in their C-160 (a smaller version of the American C-130).  As the Germans took the Golden Knights up on their very last load of the day, it proved worth the wait.  The twenty jumpers, included ten Golden Knights, German ambassadors, military tandems, and other US military free fall personnel from Ft. Bragg, jumped just prior to sunset.  The view was amazing and the jump was conducted flawlessly.  Thank you to our German friends for such a great experience!

 The weather is looking good for training in the upcoming weeks and we are looking forward to seeing all of our proud military supporters again soon.  Until then…Blue Skies!!

cuttaway dirt dive formation Group Ramp

 

A Final Tribute to SSG Eric Holman

As the Golden Knight Demonstration and Tandem sections arrive at Homestead, FL, we begin to prepare for the new season to represent America’s Army. However, before we begin, we recognize one last tribute from 2012. As most followers know, Staff Sergeant Eric Holman, a 4 year member of the Gold Demonstration Team, was killed this past August, by an enemy improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Holman always had every detail of his life planned out. With his passing, few were surprised how he had his own memorial planned out- to the smallest detail. Being a fellow Golden Knight, he asked for his ashes to be released in free fall, on his birthday, by his Golden Knights Teammates, over the drop zone where he learned to skydive just outside of Pittsburgh.

Holman, 39, of Evans City, PA.; assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died Aug. 15 in Godalia, Ghazni province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device. His wishes were followed to the letter. Family, friends, his former brothers on the Golden Knights, and his most recent brothers with his Ordnance Battalion all assembled on November 20th to celebrate Eric Holman’s life and witness the arrival to his final resting place.

Holman logged more than 2800 free fall parachute jumps, 1000 tandems and 21 military static line jumps. It was our honor to perform one last jump with a father, son, dear friend, teammate and permanent brother.

We will never forget the sacrifices paid by our fellow brothers and sisters, allowing us to reach 2013 and continue our way of life. Thank you to the Holman family for sharing SSG Eric Holman with all of us and allowing him to save the lives of so many fellow Soldiers during his time with us.

http://armygk.armylive.dodlive.mil/2012/08/20/golden-knight-gives-the-ultimate-sacrifice/

http://www.militarytimes.com/valor/army-staff-sgt-eric-s-holman/6568311

 

 

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