Or for those who cannot read Russian Cyrillic –
Posted 7 years, 3 months ago at 10:03 pm. 4 comments
Add a “drop-in” visit from the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, A starting send-off by the Presidential Salute Battery from the US Army’s Old Guard combined with weather that was just perfect and one had a combination for a spectacular event –
Hosted by the US Army’s Military District of Washington, the 25th Anniversary running of the US Army Ten Miler was held this weekend with festivities beginning on Friday 02 OCT as the runners headed to the Washington DC Armory to get their credentials and spend some time perusing the array of vendors & exhibitors covering the floor of this DC Landmark.
Several of the runners had run in the first one over two decades ago were on hand to discuss “why they run…” It was quite special to encounter several people John Michael met over the years who were getting ready for the day on Sunday.
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Posted 7 years, 10 months ago at 10:33 am. 1 comment
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GOLD TEAM = Indianapolis Air Show – Indianapolis, Indiana
Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 10:04 am. Add a comment
I sat there and LTC Tony Dill, the commander of this elite unit appeared and he was pleasantly surprised that this late in the day I was still here… seems all the major media headed back to file their stories of the events earlier in the day. I just wondered how much they really knew about the Golden Knights and the Soldiers who comprised this unit. I had spent some time exploring their website and found among them Soldiers who were Special Forces & Rangers, but also Helicopter mechanics & Medics, they came from all over the United States… the common theme was that they were AIRBORNE qualified and loved the US ARMY. Can’t ask for a better combination.
Back to LTC Dill and me, I asked if I could spend more time with the unit, since I saw something that needed to be shared, a story of how these men & women are risking their lives (it’s still dangerous jumping out of a perfectly good airplane at 5, 10, 13 thousand feet… despite all the fail-safes and precautions that are taken. So each of these Soldiers puts their lives on the line up to several times a week to show the public a skill that I later learn transfers very well to the rest of the US Army.) My request to spend time with the Golden Knights was welcomed and I asked if I could get access to the team when they came to the Washington, DC area – the Andrews AFB Joint Service Airshow in MAY. This additional request was also welcomed and an airplane ride was offered much to my surprise!
The following day, I carried out another mission as I got acceptance of the notecards I had designed from the Golden Knights SSI (Shoulder Sleeve Insignia – though few of them wear the insignia on their shoulder.) – The notecards (along with other designs) are now for sale at the Airborne Special Operations Museum in Faytetteville, NC. I then responded to CPT Funderburk that the notecards were now available to the public and Thank you for the great warm hospitality while I was visiting.
Back to the story…
As the weekend of the Joint Forces Air Show approached, I hadn’t heard about how I would connect with the Golden Knights. Then Saturday 16 MAY, my cell phone had a voicemail on it from LTC Dill … the next day I was at Andrews AFB heading toward a rather wonderful “Golden Knights” aircraft… (I’ve learned that the airplane is the Golden Knights’ home-away-from-home = they spend about 42 weekends – and many weekdays away from their home base at Fort Bragg… and I thought I traveled a lot when I worked for Corporate America!)
I was escorted aboard and as I got strapped in, I watched as several of the Golden Knights reviewed and walked through what they were going to do in the air, right there on the ground (the US Army is always “On the Mission!”) They may have done this hundreds of times before, but again they made sure it was going to be perfect.
They next huddled and went through what I later found out was a ritual that has evolved over time… They then boarded the airplane and began donning their jump-suits – then the parachutes and harnesses went on then another series of staging practices occurred at each of the doors (they take such pride in their work!)
As final preparations were being made for takeoff… a very smooth takeoff mind you! they continued to prepare for their jump as more equipment was …. along with other necessary gear – gloves, altimeter, a final check of the parachutes.
All this happening while the airplane headed for 12,500 Feet above the Washington, DC area (the Washington Monument looked like a matchstick rising out of the ground!) It had rained the night before and there were still clouds lingering in the skies. As we went higher and higher, we lost 3 degrees of temperature for every 1,000 feet we climbed. Gloves! Need gloves since the brisk winds as the doors were open seemed to keep it cooler.
They even have their own camera man – who takes photos with his camera strapped to his helmet!
Yes, I’m leaving you up in the air…
… don’t they call that a
Posted 7 years, 11 months ago at 1:52 am. Add a comment
Little did I know that this was just the beginning of what would be a great week spent in May…