AP NEWS

Fort Bragg Golden Knights injured in parachuting accident in Florida

February 13, 2019

A training accident in south Florida on Tuesday morning involved three Fort Bragg soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team.

The soldiers were being treated for injuries they received during the overnight military training exercise at the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami-Dade County, where their training takes place during the winter months.

The accident happened around 4 a.m., while performing a low-altitude jump.

According to Kelli Bland, a spokesperson for the US Army Recruiting Command, the soldiers were training for an upcoming night-time demonstration. It is believed the soldiers may have collided in the sky, but that remains under investigation.

All three were being treated at the Ryder Trauma Center on Tuesday. Two were in critical condition and one was in serious condition, Bland said.

One soldier was seen moving his arms and legs, another with his arms bend above his head and the third kept his hands and arms folded on his chest.

Right now, Bland says the Army is making sure they get the best possible treatment.

“Checking in on them and making sure that we’re taking care of them and taking care of their families,” she said.

In Aug. 2018, Elizabeth Gardner, along with two coworkers, was invited to skydive with the Golden Knights parachute team. Each was paired with a soldier and got to experience and better understand the training, discipline and thrills behind the world-class unit, which is headquartered in Fort Bragg.

Just weeks after the exciting experience, a Golden Knight died in Georgia in a plane crash. He was off-duty at the time of the crash.

The Golden Knights team of almost 100 men and women performs parachute stunts alongside other members from all branches of the Army. The Knights include four parachute units, an aviation unit and the Fort Bragg headquarters.

U.S. Army soldiers began skydiving in 1959, when the sport was new. By 1962, the team was nicknamed the “Golden Knights.” According to the Golden Knights website, the team has conducted more than 16,000 shows in 50 states and 48 countries, reaching an average of 60,000 people per show. The team has earned the U.S. Army thousands of gold, silver and bronze medals and has broken 348 world records.

AP RADIO
Update hourly