Aside from several issues that have arisen at the Air Force Academy
in recent months,
there's a lot of good news coming from the officer training school as well. Such as the performance of the Wings of Blue
parachute team, and the parachuting program as a whole.
So while academy officials cope with a confidential information program reported by the Gazette
, and figure out if the academy's Preparatory School is worth the trouble ("A prep to protect," Nov. 13, 2013
), among other things, it's turned out some master parachutists, apparently.
As the academy reports in a news release:
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo., - The Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue parachute team won 33 medals at the National Collegiate Parachute Competition in Lake Wells, Fla., recently.
Wings of Blue skydivers took home nine gold, 16 silver and eight bronze medals at the competition, held from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2.
The Wings of Blue received the highest point total, making it the collegiate champion, the 34th time in the past 45 years the Academy has
garnered this honor.
Cadet 1st Class Joseph M. Euhus, Cadet Squadron 6, won the collegiate tournament's "Outstanding Competitor" Award. He won a gold medal in sport accuracy (masters class). This makes the second year in a row a member of the Wings of Blue was chosen as the tournament's finest.
Euhus was part of the skydivers' record setting four-way Eufouria team that won gold in the open or highest division. Other members of the Eufouria team included Cadets 1st Class David Moore, Aaron Sporrer and Derek Dymenek.
The Wings of Blue is operated by the 98th Flying Training Squadron, which comprises 75 cadets and approximately 37 staff members. The team performs annually to an estimated combined audience 12 million people.
Just recently, on Dec. 28, the team jumped in the Buffalo Wild Wing Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., with 75 thousand stadium onlookers and millions of television fans watching the demonstration.
The Wings of Blue are scheduled to perform 23 nation-wide demonstrations in Fiscal Year 2014.
The 98th FTS also operates the Air Force's most prolific parachute program, executing 20,000 jumps and 3,500 UV-18B flight hours each year. The program allows more than 800 cadets per year the opportunity to earn their basic parachutist badge.