Although our first air show in Biloxi, Mississippi is only a few weeks away,
we continue to stay focused on our Annual Certification training down here
in Homestead, Florida. During week seven and eight we had the opportunity
to work with long time friend of the team and WestPoint Coach, Mr. Tom
Falzone. The instruction and advice we received from him allowed the team to
hone in on our free fall skills, specifically when building (flying our
bodies together) numerous geometric shapes above Homestead Air Reserve Base.
The teams build formations ranging anywhere from ten to twenty four jumpers. In addition to working
with Mr. Falzone, the team has also been working closely with the United
States Army Special Operations Command Parachute Team “The Black Daggers,”
which has allowed both teams to improve their maneuvers and canopy skills
for the upcoming show season.
The team has been anxiously waiting for the opportunity to train and
eventually incorporate new maneuvers into our air show performances. Four
black team members were selected to begin wing suit training during week
seven. Each of them received a ground class from SFC Jon Ewald and SSG Chris
Clark, which included proper rigging of our parachute system into the wing
suit, exiting the aircraft, and flight characteristics of the wing suit
itself. We are eager to fly the US Army wing suits in the near future at air
shows, as well as other performances throughout the Nation.
During week eight Mr. Randy Swallows worked with our team photographers by
providing in depth classes on how the cameras we use on the team “think,”
which in turn allows our team free fall photographers to understand it’s
settings that will ultimately allow for a single photo to tell a Golden
Knight story. Each of the photographers received very informative and
easy-to-understand camera settings and technique classes ranging from basic
Wrapping up week seven and eight the team performed six full show
performances which allowed for our newest team mates to work on their
narration for the 2015 air show season that will enhance each of our
maneuvers for our spectators.
Looking ahead, the Black Demonstration Team
will be making training jumps into the Homestead NASCAR track and the
Florida Atlantic University Football field next week.
We are looking forward to heading back to Fort Bragg to spend time with our
families and prepping for our first show of the season in Biloxi, Mississippi!