West Point Parachute team trains in England
Story and photos by the West Point Parachute Team
WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 24, 2014) — Following an exciting academic year, the West Point Parachute Team was invited to England this summer to conduct combined training with the Red Devil British Army Parachute Team.
Sixteen West Point team members, along with Cadet Michelle Ferguson from the Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute team, joined the Red Devils for a week of demonstration training in early June.
The trip began as the Red Devils commander, Capt. John Bowen, led the group on an amazing sightseeing tour, to include Buckingham Palace where the team was privileged to see the changing of the guard. They also saw Big Ben, the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge and Saint Paul Cathedral.
The team completed its tour of England with a trip to Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum before joining the Red Devils for jump training. Most of the day was dedicated to registration paper work, gear checks and a tour of the facility and landing areas. The team had enough time before the famous England clouds rolled in to conduct two orientation jumps per person.
Sixteen members of the West Point Parachute Team spent part of their summer in England participating in sky-high training with a UK team. Courtesy Photos
The following day proved to be a faster paced day as the cadets conducted six jumps per person. Training jumps consisted of Big Way formations with the Red Devils, and relative work.
The cadets and lieutenants received one-on-one coaching from the Devils in canopy piloting and demonstration accuracy, and the Red Devils demonstrated CREW techniques, their specialty. The day culminated in a combined 10-way jump over Camp Neverhaven, a great way to close out.
On the team’s last day they attended a Red Devils demonstration in central England. The Red Devils put on an excellent show, incorporating smoke, flags, CREW stacks and precision accuracy. The team had the opportunity to review the demonstration with the Devils after the event, and left with numerous lessons learned and ways to improve for our upcoming demonstration season.