ST. GEORGE – Along with the Blue Angels who soared across the skies at Thunder Over Utah, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, also entertained the crowd as its members jumped out of a plane and performed aerial demonstrations before opening their chutes and returning to earth. This marks the first time the group has performed at Thunder Over Utah.
Originating at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 1959, the parachute team was formed as a way to compete with the Soviets, who at the time dominated international skydiving competitions. The new team experienced many successes and earned the nickname “Golden Knights” in 1961 for the gold medals it had collected, and also having “conquered the skies,” according to a press statement.
Today the team is comprised of over 90 members that include jumpers, pilots, and a sundry of support and public relations personnel. They perform over 100 demonstrations a year and also act as the “Official Ambassadors of the Army” to the public. The tandem team, the Golden Knights’ competition section, continues to participate in competitions worldwide.
When it was announced in February that the parachute team would be joining Thunder Over Utah this year, Air Show Director Kevin Walsh said, “The Golden Knights are obviously one of the top air show performance teams in the world and we are very honored to be adding them to what is a world-class lineup of first-time performers at Thunder.”
Thunder Over Utah continues Sunday. Read more: Thunder Over Utah rundown: Tickets, parking, schedule, directions; STGnews Photo Gallery
According to the Golden Knight’s website, “The Team represents the finest of Soldiers and personifies the Army Values, showing the world the professionalism, precision, and discipline of today’s modern Army.”
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