National and International Paratroopers Training Over the Clear Blue Skies of HARB - South Dade News Leader: Community News | South Dade News Leader | Miami Dade County

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National and International Paratroopers Training Over the Clear Blue Skies of HARB

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 12:11 pm

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, have integrated their new team members and are ready to close out winter training at Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB).

They have a busy schedule ahead with what are always crowd-pleasing demonstrations of their skill. Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ed Marsh, Battalion Commander of the Golden Knights, explained they often see other demonstration teams at different shows, but for the first time ever, five of those teams are with them to practice joint work and interoperability. The Red Devils, the British Army Parachute Display Team, crossed the Atlantic to be here. The Black Daggers are from U.S. Special Operations Command (USASOC) at Fort Bragg, NC. The Leap Frogs are U.S. Navy from San Diego, CA, the Silver Wings are from Fort Benning, GA, and the Wings of Blue are from the U.S. Air Force Academy, CO.

If residents noticed far more than usual parachutes dotting skies around HARB this week, that’s what happens when sixty-five of these superbly trained

individuals are together.

Conditions Tuesday, March 12, 2019 were great for operations with no problems in making multiple jumps.

Sergeant First Class Ryan O’Rourke is new to the Golden Knights even though he does have more than 900 jumps as experience. The former special operations soldier said he enjoys letting the public know what the Army can offer.

“I spent so much time not being able to talk about what I did, this is a big change.”

Staff Sergeant Zachary Krietenstein of the Silver Wings has been on the team for fifteen months and is especially looking forward to participating in D-Day events in Europe this coming summer. They will also travel to South Korea in addition to numerous events within the United States.

n watching the precision of the teams, the need for safety is understood and LTC Marsh provided an update about the two Golden Knights who remain

hospitalized after an accident February 12, 2019.

“The accident occurred during a night jump in doing Canopy Relative Work which is a standard demonstration maneuver where two parachutes come together. The soldiers became entangled and fell. The third soldier who was injured was coming to render assistance and was not involved in the entanglement.”

The two men in the hospital will be under care for an unspecified length of time. “We appreciate people respecting their privacy and we have returned to

operations.”

The team will begin their demonstration appearances later this month. Go to www.armygk.com to see the Golden Knights schedule, read biographies of team members, and find other information.

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