Homestead - South Dade

Army parachute team resumes training as 2 of 3 jumpers improve after Homestead accident

United States Army Golden Knights

The US Army Golden Knights demonstrate for hundreds of spectators a day before the Air And Sea Show in Miami Beach.
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The US Army Golden Knights demonstrate for hundreds of spectators a day before the Air And Sea Show in Miami Beach.

The conditions of two U.S. Army soldiers injured in a parachute training exercise in the skies over Homestead last week have improved.

One soldier was released from the hospital late last week, and another’s condition has gone from critical to serious, said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, spokesman for Army Recruiting Command.

But a third jumper remains in critical condition, Dodge said.

All three soldiers are members of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute demonstration team. They were injured Feb. 12 performing night exercises over Homestead Air Reserve Base around 4 a.m.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue took them to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The Army has not released the soldiers’ names and the cause of the accident remains under investigation, Dodge said.

The team resumed training on Tuesday after ceasing operations after the incident, Dodge said.

“A comprehensive safety analysis has been completed, and the team is resuming airborne operations today,” Dodge said in an email. “The decision was made by the Marketing and Engagement Brigade commander based on a thorough review of safety measures in place to reduce risks.”

The Golden Knights are based at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, however they spend the winter months training in Homestead.

David Goodhue, with the Reporter and Keynoter, tandem jumps with the United States Army's Golden Knights parachute team on Feb. 23, 2017.

The team is a fixture at both college and professional sporting events nationwide, as well as events like parades and air shows. As well as performing high-altitude free fall jumps, they also take dignitaries, celebrities, teachers and journalists on tandem, 13,000 to 14,000 free fall jumps as part of the Army’s recruiting mission.

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush jumped with the Golden Knights on four birthdays starting when he turned 75.

David Goodhue covers the Florida Keys and South Florida for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald. Before joining the Herald, he covered Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.


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