The Black Demonstration Team spent week two of our Annual Certification Cycle, completing 306 total stack out jumps, which allows the team to exit our aircraft at lower altitudes to practice our stack discipline and allows the team to accomplish more jumps throughout the day.
The team is progressing quickly with dialing in our accuracy scores to ensure precision landings at our air shows. Additionally, we incorporated both the packing and pulling down of our state flags, while under canopy during the first jump of the day. This has allowed our two newest team mates to learn the functionality of their flag line, while simultaneously working their way into the stack.
Each team member has an assigned tracking partner for our maneuvers, to include the “fan favorite”, canopy relative work ( where both partners work together to stack two canopies on top of each other.)
Our first jump on Wednesday and Thursday of this week was dedicated to canopy relative work progression and each demonstrator successfully accomplished this task. The team has their sights set on working our way up to the more advanced canopy relative work maneuvers such as the side-by-side and down-plane towards the end of winter training.
Next week the team begins with baton pass maneuvers and closes out this week with a demonstration into the Homestead Rodeo Sunday afternoon.
As the Gold Demonstration Team wrapped up week one at the Golden Knights Annual Certification Cycle in Homestead, Florida, we are proud of all that we have accomplished. Though we had to endure tough weather conditions, which included high winds and lots of fog, we managed to accumulate over 180 jumps for our entire Team.
This year we also have welcomed three new Teammates who we were excited to start training, and they have already integrated seamlessly into the fold. Using the undesirable weather conditions to our advantage, we forged ahead on our narration training, and held classes that introduced the new Teammates to various skills and tasks that will be imperative to know throughout both winter training and the 2015 Demonstration season.
Looking ahead, we are moving into week two focusing on more stack out maneuvers, and integrating flags into our canopy training. We are also excited to perform our first demonstration of 2015 at the 66th Annual PRCA Homestead Championship Rodeo on Saturday, January 24th. For those in the area this weekend, we would love to have you come check us out!
SSG Koch talks with passenger
Gold Team Leader SFC Thomas Melton leads FY-15 ACC
On December 16th, 2014, in a modest ceremony at Battalion Headquarters, Chief Warrant Officer Five Jeffrey Sopp was appointed as the first Warrant Officer in Golden Knight history to command the Team’s Aviation Detachment. Hailing from Pennsylvania and serving in the Air Force before joining the Army in 1990, Mr. Sopp could not have possibly envisioned all those years ago, that he would one day lead our team of highly skilled Aviators and Ground Crew in its mission to support the World-Class United States Army Parachute Team.
Perhaps our readers may doubt the Unit’s decision to place a Warrant Officer in charge, but those skeptics have obviously not met Jeffrey Sopp. Always the consummate quiet professional, he has already begun skillfully guiding Team Six through eleven solid weeks of intense and demanding training at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida in preparation for our most action-packed show season to date. Upon returning to Pope Army Airfield in March, both C31A Friendship Fokkers and all three deHavilland Twin Otter 400s will traverse the United States coast to coast in support of the Army’s recruiting mission.
Our Aviators and Ground Crew will journey together with our Jumpers as we build to achieve Golden Knight 2025 at the forefront of the sport of skydiving. Few could lead this charge other than Mr. Sopp. Join us in congratulating Mr. Sopp on this supreme career achievement and be ready to see Team Six thrive in the coming months as our parachuting experts continue to bring home their gold medals.