U.S. Army Special Operations Parachute Demonstration Team.
The United States Army’s demonstration team, “The Black Daggers,” parachuted into a grassy field on the California State University Fullerton campus during an event hosted by the University’s ROTC.
According to their web site, “The Black Daggers are the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team. Their mission is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army Special Operations community relations and recruiting.”
Earlier in the day, members of the ROTC were able to fly in one of the two U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters which were also on display on the field, one landing in a dramatic way after “The Black Daggers” parachuters cleared the field. Members of the military shouted over the roar of the propeller blades to hold on to “headgear” as a wind from the giant “fan” blew our direction. It was a cool breeze on a warming afternoon.
After landing, the field was opened up for students and the general public to approach the Blackhawks and get a close-up look on the inside as well as the outside.
The members at today’s demonstration at Cal State University Fullerton were:
- Carrying the United States flag, Sgt. 1st Class, Roger Ross.
- Carrying the Cal State University Fullerton Titan flag, Master Sergeant, Luke Whittington.
- Carrying the P.O.W. flag, Sgt. 1st Class, Jeff Menda.
It was quite an experience seeing the team in action. Makes one proud to know that our armed services are ready at a moments notice to defend the freedoms we hold so dear.
I spoke with a couple of team members, Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Davis and Master Sergeant Luke Whittington, after they landed. Davis handled safety for the team on the ground. The thing I noticed about him was how quickly he ran to pick up the American Flag after it hit the grass first, being carried below Ross. He immediately grabbed it, lifted it up and made sure it was treated with respect. I asked Master Sergeant, Whittington if he had fun parachuting. He smiled and said, “Yeah!” It was definitely fun for me.
For more information on The Black Daggers: