APK 5K: The Black Daggers will “drop in”
We have some really exciting news about this year’s APK 5K. Some special guests will be dropping in. And when we say “dropping in,” we really mean it. The U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team — also known as “The Black Daggers” – will be dropping from a plane into the Guilford Fairgrounds on the morning of November 3rd. How many opportunities does one get to see The Black Daggers?
From The Black Daggers promotional packet:
The Black Daggers [are] comprised entirely of volunteers from throughout the Army special operations community. They have diverse backgrounds and possess various military specialties. The team represents the professionalism and dedication of Special Operations Forces and performs aerial demonstrations in support of U.S. Army Special Operations Command community outreach and recruiting efforts.
For almost three-quarters of a century, highly-trained groups of Soldiers have been inserted behind enemy lines to disrupt the movement of enemy troops and supplies to the front lines. These brave soldiers have frequently used parachutes as a means to infiltrate without being detected. Although most of the airborne forces of the world still use round parachutes, some specialized units use the Ram Air Canopy as their primary means of infiltration.
The Black Daggers use the military variant of the ram-air parachute, which allows a free-fall parachutist the ability to jump with more than 100 pounds of additional equipment attached. In addition to the extra weight, the jumper must also withstand high winds, frigid temperatures and low oxygen levels, all of which require the jumper to be highly skilled.
When exiting the aircraft, normally from an altitude of 12,500 feet, the jumpers free fall for about two miles at approximately 120 miles per hour. They maneuver their bodies using their hands, arms, legs and shoulders to control their flight. The parachutes used by the USASOC team are flexible wing gliders.
The Black Daggers’ mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of U.S. Army Special Operations Command community relations and recruiting.
All that and a bag of chips! You get to see these brave soldiers parachute into the Fairgrounds on race day. Please say you’ll come! Register now by clicking here.
— Bob and Helen