Thunder in the Valley

IMGsmoke_9030Over the past weekend Gold Team participated in the Thunder in the Valley Air Show in Waterloo, IA conducting 3 shows. On Friday, the team did a mass formation with SSG Roman Grijalva, fresh out of Senior Leaders Course, jumping into the show first and then narrating for Children’s Appreciation Day. There were hundreds of students, which came from numerous schools in the area on field trips to attend the Thunder in the Valley Air Show. The Air Show had a social, where the members of the Gold Demonstration Team had the opportunity to get together and meet the sponsors and other performers.

Although Saturday started off with rain and low clouds, the skies quickly opened up to allow the team to do a full show. SGT Blake Gaynor was the first jumper in, and narrated the rest of the team as they came in for dead center landings. The team presented a baton to Reiley Gilbert, a 17 year old, who recently enlisted into the Army and is eagerly waiting to attend Basic Training. Sunday the team conducted another successful full show with SSG Jon Clevenger narrating. The team presented another baton to the Bob Molinaro family, which is a major sponsor of the show.

SSG Mike Koch, Photos by SFC Adrian Hill

Golden Knights Return to Chicago Air & Water Show

Back to the Windy City

Back to the Windy City

 

This past weekend the Gold Demonstration Team participated in the Chicago Air and Water show. The practice jump went off without a hitch on Friday with SSG Jon Clevenger doing a joint three stack with All Veterans Group and the Leap Frogs with a drop flag and then narrating the rest of the team and the Leap Frogs conducting a joint mass formation.

Saturday morning SPC Daniel Osorio did another three stack with the Leap Frogs and the All Veterans Group and narrated both the Leap Frogs and the Gold Team doing two separate stack outs with Canopy Relative Work from 2500 feet. SSG Mike Koch narrated the team doing a stack out and canopy relative work passes from 3200 feet. Graham Hoeksta, a six and a half year old cancer survivor, was presented with a baton. That evening the team was able to take part in a social for all the air show personnel at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta with a tour through the city of Chicago on a double decker bus.

Unfortunately, due to weather, the team was not able to conduct any shows on Sunday, but was able to meet many of the other performers along with their family and friends on the airfield in Gary, Indiana. Giving them tours of the plane and answering many questions.

SFC Brian Karst, Photos by, SGT Martin,SFC Hill & Donna Dixon

The 56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show Swooped by Golden Knights

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North Lake Shore Drive was literally overshadowed as the U.S. Army Parachute Team’s, Golden Knights’ Black and Gold Parachutes, multiple military and vintage planes roared and zipped through the blue skies this past weekend for the 56th annual Chicago Air and Water Show.Over a million spectators hustled along the crowded shores to the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street. The “Boat House” on North Avenue Beach served as the show’s center each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Gold Demonstration Team led by SFC Dustin Peregrin gave a phenomenal performance for the crowd on Friday and Saturday, but poor weather postponed and eventually canceled the second day.

SPC Dan Osorio jumped in first and then narrated the show beginning with a first time ever joint formation with the Golden Knights, All Veteran Parachute Team and Navy Leap Frogs as they skillfully maneuvered a beautifully formed 3-stack formation.

Members of the AVPT flew in to the “Windy City” with five jumpers donning different parachutes, a variety of flags and ended with and enormous American flag.

Immediately following the AVPT demo, members of the Navy Leap Frog’s and the Golden Knights gracefully flew from far corners of the earth into a magnificent smoke circled mass formation circling high over the great City of Chicago.

The parachuting montage of demonstration scenes subsided with a grand finale with SFC Joe Jones, CSM Thomas Holland and videographer SFC Brian Sealing sweeping across the scenic lake shore with a tandem parachute jump.

Following the jump the team members were introduced to the crowd and did a statuesque team line up as Mr. Ken Breeden and CW4 Ed Schemper the team pilots, picturesquely did a fly-by in the teams exquisite C31 Friendship Fokker.

SFC Peregrin escorted and introduced “Make a Wish” recipient 6-year old Graham Hoekstra to the Team and SGT Blake Gaynor presented Graham with a baton that was passed in mid-air during their demonstration.

Due to inclement weather Sunday was delayed and eventually cancelled, but the Knights’ on the ground carried the show on. Sunday morning at Chicago’s Air and Water show, the Blackhawks’ own Professional Opera Singer, Jim Cornelison got iced by members of the Golden Knights Command, Air Force Heritage Flight pilots, All Veteran Parachute Team and Navy Leap Frogs.

Governor Pat Quinn also took the challenge and even Chicago’s very own Lourdes Duarte stepped up accepting the country’s latest viral craze, which supports a bigger cause; raising awareness and money to fight Lou Gerhig’s Disease, ALS. Those who refuse take the challenge are asked to donate money to help fight ALS.

SFC Derrick Coleman along with the Golden Knights’ Commander, LTC Matthew Weinrich and CSM TJ Holland presented the day’s baton to Chicago Public Schools student and JROTC Cadet, SGM Malik Baker.  Malik took a flight with legendary pilot, Sean D. Tucker on Thursday, August 14 as part of the Young Eagles aviation program and the 56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show.

Chicagoans all over the beach said they were excited this year about the return of military headliners —the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team — after their absence last year because of sequestration due to federal budget cuts.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “The Chicago Air and Water Show is always a summertime favorite providing exciting family entertainment in the skies above Lake Michigan,” “For more than half a century, this event has grown into a spectacular display of aviation’s finest in a unique setting making it a wonderful destination for residents and visitors alike.”

 

 

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