By Ms. Cheryle Rivas (USAAC)February 11, 2009

"Free fly at sunset"
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"Miss U.S.A."
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Miss U.S.A. Crystle Stewart is escorted by not one, but five of the Army's finest! The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights share the Army Experience with the reigning queen. Pictured (bottom-l-r) SFC Jeff Schafer, SFC Eric Heinsheimer, SFC D... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
"A Crowning Moment"
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Miss U.S.A. Crystle Stewart flashes a smile for the camera as she and SFC Mike Elliot free fall at 120 miles per hour. This was the first time Stewart has ever jumped from an airplane. Pictured with her (l-r) SFC Jeff Schafer (rear left); SFC Kurt Is... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL
"Ready, Set, Go!"
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YUMA, AZ-The U.S. Army Parachute Team has traveled to Yuma Arizona for winter training. The team has been traveling to Yuma Proving Grounds since 1962. The warmer climates offer better weather conditions for perfecting various show maneuvers, accuracy landings and demonstrations in preparation for the upcoming show season.

The parachute team is divided into two demonstration teams, Black and Gold. Each team works on signature show stoppers such as their diamond track demonstration, the cut-away maneuver, and the baton pass. New team members have the opportunity to become more familiar with the ins-and-outs of being a Golden Knight. They each take turns narrating the demonstration during training, perfecting their voice inflection, parachuting skills, and performing for curious fans and on-lookers that travel to Yuma to see the team in action. The team is in their third week of training.

In addition to the demonstration teams, the Tandem Section takes advantage of the warmer climate for training. The Tandem Team has been conducting several tandem camps jumping Soldiers and VIPs as part of their winter training. They also have been training in free-fly (flying in unusual attitude...on their backs and in sit-fly positions) to improve their body awareness and camera shooting skills. Most recently, the Tandem Team was host to Miss U.S.A., Crystle Stewart, who traded in her crown for a parachute. The Texas native participated in the team's tandem camp and jumped from 12,000 feet. Stewart had the opportunity to meet and talk with the Soldiers on the team, who come from different military occupations and hometowns. For Stewart, it was an adventure and chance to enjoy the Army Experience.