Black Team Rocking Rockford

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Black Team Leader  SFC Kevin Presgraves signing autographs

Black Team Leader SFC Kevin Presgraves signing autographs

 

 

The Black Demonstration Team led by SFC Kevin Presgraves traveled north this past weekend to Rockford, Illinois for the Rockford Airfest. The team arrived on Friday and attended the event sponsored social where we were welcomed back to the airshow circuit along with several other phenomenal civilian and military acts including the US Airforce Thunderbirds and the Canadian Snowbirds. The team opened the show Saturday morning with PFC Jason Wenger and SSG Shelby Bixler flying in the American and Canadian Flag for a dual anthem. Accompanying PFC Wenger and SSG Bixler during their canopy decent to show center were pilots Rob Holland and Bill Stein.

The team then performed a mass formation and landed along the crowd line of close to 65,000 air show enthusiasts. Our afternoon full show was modified due to cloud cover, but that did not stop Black Team from pushing forward and giving the American public a stellar performance of a baton pass, the crowd favorite down plane maneuver, as well as a diamond formation from an altitude of only 6500 feet! Although mother nature gave us some leeway for our Saturday performances we were not able to open the show on Sunday morning due to weather. Low visibility does not stop the Golden Knights from walking through crowds of close to 65,000 air show fans to share our Army story, sign autographs, take photos and even visit with the air show vendors and chalets. The weather lifted just enough for us during the afternoon to perform two passes of stackout maneuvers followed by a full team lineup.

Honorary GK John Duda

Honorary GK John Duda

 

Special thanks to Honorary Golden Knight John Duda for assisting the team this weekend and to all of our fellow military and civilian acts.

 

Fort Knox Tandem Camp

FtKnox Collage  It was a dreary and overcast day when the Tandem section of the United States Army Parachute Team stepped off the plane in Louisville International Airport, KY. on Tuesday, the 10th of June. The weather would hold steady causing the first day of jumping to be cancelled.

Fortunately those tandem students were afforded the opportunity to come back the following day. The Thursday morning was looking about the same as the previous two days, but the hopes remained high for all the people on the ground to get up into the sky. With 24 anxious students, the clouds began to break and smiles began to spread as the team boarded the aircraft to conduct their wind test to get the day started.

After a few attempts to get to altitude because of the clouds, the team was able to get to the prescribed altitude and they took to the sky. There was a wide variety of students consisting of doctors, teachers and coaches from colleges and high schools in and around the Fort Knox area, who were extremely excited and glad the clouds had made their way out of the Kentucky skies.

Among the students was a young, energetic up and coming country singer, Brinn Black, who had a blast with SFC Noah Watts, who safely guided her all the way to the ground. The Tandem section finished up with the rest of their tandem passengers that Friday afternoon and packed up the plane in preparation to head back home to Fort Bragg, North Carolina the following day.

All of the anxious students had actually had a great Army Strong Experience by placing their lives in the hands of these professional Soldiers and jumping out of a plane.

SFC Chris Aceveda

Westmoreland County Airshow

American Flag

SPC Daniel Osario jumping in the American Flag

 

 

The Gold Demonstration Team had a short flight this weekend to Latrobe, PA. We left early Friday morning  and after arriving set up for our practice jump. The practice mass formation went well to set things rolling for the weekend.

Saturday morning  started with out a cloud in the sky. SPC Daniel Osorio started the air show off by flying in the national colors while being circled by Matt Chapman. SFC Brian Karst and SGT Blake Gaynor closed out the morning show by performing a breath taking down plane. After landing we headed over to the Army recruiting booth to pack our parachutes with the help of the Latrobe community. Once everything was reset the team headed back up to perform our full show. All maneuvers were performed and we closed out the show just prior to the Blue Angels starting their performance.

The forecast for Sunday was not as promising. The team took the short drive to the airport and watched as the clouds started to form. The plane took off as scheduled and we prepared for the morning jump. However, once we were at our exit altitude the rain started and forced us to land. After landing we prepared for the afternoon show in hopes that the rain would clear.

Take off went as scheduled and we were prepared with multiple options in case we had to adjust our exit altitudes due to clouds. The Gold team leader, SFC Dustin Peregren, made the call and the narrator stepped out right on schedule. Minutes after the narrator landed heavy rain started, so the remaining team members circled the target awaiting a break. The rain lifted and the team leader gave us a thumbs up. Instead of the full show, we adjusted to the weather and launched a mass formation. Once the team was safely on the ground SSG Brandon Parra closed out the weekend.

We would like to thank the Latrobe community for allowing the team to perform. Next year we hope for blue skies through out the entire weekend.

SSG Jon Clevenger—

Photos By Theriom Rasputin

 

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