101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Command
Parachute Demonstration Team
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Command Parachute Demonstration Team, the "Screaming Eagles" is a full time aerial demonstration unit in the Army. Headquartered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the soldiers who make up the Screaming Eagles come from diverse backgrounds and hold various military occupational skills.
The team can trace its history as far back as the late 1950's, during the infancy of precision freefall itself. The original team members were a group of soldiers who volunteered their personal time to practice and perform quality parachute demonstrations. Noticing the success, the command group opted to form a full time team in 1984.
The team's mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army community relations and to promote the Army through the sport of skydiving, while representing the 101st Airborne Division and it's proud and unyielding airborne tradition.
The team averages 70 parachute demonstrations throughout the United States in a show season ranging from airshows, professional sporting events, and civic events. The Screaming Eagles have performed over 1000 live aerial demonstrations throughout the United States. Aside from performing parachute demonstrations, they also perform duties such as Show Coordination, Aviation Coordination, Media Relations and Rigging. Members work with the team for an average of two years before they continue on with their military careers.
In order to achieve the perfection it takes for the job, the team trains year round and makes between 4 and 5 hundred training jumps a year. Each jumper holds a Professional Exhibition Rating through the United States Parachute Association. They are trained in all aspects of parachute demonstration ranging from freefall to canopy relative work.
Performing parachute demonstrations require team members' skills to be honed to a razor's edge. Every team member gives 101% - for it is an honor and a privilege to be a member of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Command Parachute Demonstration Team, a "Screaming Eagle."
The full show was designed to be both informative and entertaining to the general audience. It consisted of 3 different passes where jumpers exit and perform different aerial maneuvers. The maneuvers were basic freefall maneuvers designed to show the spectators the amount of control each jumper has while falling through the air at speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. The exit altitude varies from 2,500 feet to 10,500 feet Above Gound Level. Each show or flags flown can be tailored to suit the requestors needs. The team can assist in recommendations based on the event and amount of time the team will have to perform. The team reserves the right to make adjustments as necessary based on conditions such as weather or the number of jumpers available. The various maneuvers and formations include Flag Narrator, Baton Pass/Barber Pole, Mass Formation, Canopy Relative Work, and Stack Out.
In the Flag Narrator maneuver one jumper exits the aircraft and begins his descent to the earth. Upon deployment of his canopy he will lower the American flag, which is then flown during the playing of the national anthem. After reaching the ground this jumper becomes the Team's Narrator for the remainder of the performance.
In the Baton Pass/Barber Pole two jumpers exit the aircraft and demonstrate the basics of flight control by flying their bodies together and linking up while in freefall. Once together they will then exchange a wooden baton. After they exchage the wooden baton, they will maneuver thier bodies in order to create the illusion of a giant barber pole in the sky.
In the Mass Formation three or more jumpers will exit the aircraft at the same time. They will maneuver together while in freefall to form a large formation in the sky. At a predetermined altitude the jumpers will turn 180o from the center of the formation so they can separate, creating a "bomb burst" in the sky with their smoke.
In the Canopy Relative Work jumpers deploy their parachutes upon exit of the aircraft. The jumpers then fly their canopies together forming a variety of parachute formations. Once the canopies are together there are many different formations that the jumpers can perform such as parachutes flying side by side, parachutes stacked on top of each other, one parachute flying upside down, three parachutes flying side by side, etc.
The Stack Out is utilized in the event of a low cloud ceiling or time constraint, and in the maneuver jumpers can exit at two second intervals from a lower altitude. This maneuver limits the time the jumpers spend in freefall.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|