Leap of Faith for Tandem Passengers

20140818 Noah2 20140820 Rich1Half way through ACC in Homestead, Florida, tandem team takes part in a program designed to give back to those that have lost so much. Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th, the Leap of Faith program took place. This program was created by Operation Support Our Troops-America. It is a 2 day seminar for families of fallen troops that encourages life on the other side of grief and loss and teaches principles of courage, trust, letting go and building community. On the second day, the attendees of this program take a literal leap of faith with an Army Golden Knight.

Among the people attending the program was Shannon Thorp, Kate D’Corazon, and Cassandra Randolph. They, like the many others in the program, made their Leap of Faith in honor of a loved one that had lost their lives whether it was over seas or back home. Shannon Thorp had stated that after her loss, she vowed to never turn down an amazing opportunity, such as the Leap of Faith. Not only are we helping these families, but we ourselves are honoring the fallen as they were our brother’s and sister’s in arms. It is an amazing honor for the Golden Knights to help these families and take them on their Leap of Faith.

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Gold Team Flies Through Week Six & Seven of ACC

150219-A-XXXXX-001Weeks six and seven of ACC for the Gold demonstration team were advantageous ones. We were graced with the expertise of two professionals within the Air Show and skydiving fields, who helped to hone our skills as aerial demonstrators.

During week six, we welcomed Mr. Rob Reider, an Emmy award winning air show announcer. He worked closely with the newest team members, perfecting both their narration skills as well as presence on the microphone.

During week seven, the team met with the US Military Academy’s Parachute Team coach, Mr. Tom Falzone. With his expertise on formation skydiving, we were able to dial down our mass formations and even successfully create large 20-plus “big way” formations. During this week Gold team continued training on the diamond formation, as well as canopy relative work and narration.

Looking ahead, we will begin training on full show performances. This will be especially important for our three new members. It is finally an opportunity for them to train on the culmination of the last seven weeks of maneuvers and their accompanying narration. We will also be welcoming another guest coach, Mr. Randy Swallows, who will be assisting our freefall photographers in refining their video and photo skills.

Blue Skies!

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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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