RACINE — The City of Racine is planning to host the Black Daggers, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, on Thursday, July 4 prior to the annual fireworks display. The Black Daggers are scheduled to be jumping onto North Beach at 8 p.m.
Organized by a local group of aviation enthusiasts and sponsored by Real Racine and the city, the Black Daggers will entertain the audience with their precision moves, organizers say.
“We are thrilled to have the Black Daggers join us on the 4th,” said Chuck Christofferson, one of the event organizers. “We are hoping that this will lead to a much larger air show next year and in years to come.”
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The Black Daggers specialize in military free-falls using ram-air airfoils, which provide control of speed and direction as their primary means of infiltration. Descending from the skies at 12,500 feet, traveling nearly 120 miles per hour, free-fall parachuting is the closest humans have ever come to actually flying.
During their two-mile drop, the Black Daggers maneuver their body using their hands, arms, legs and shoulders to control their flight. At a few thousand feet, they deploy their parachutes and land with pin-point precision, whether it’s in a football stadium or on their training grounds near Fort Bragg, N.C.
About the team
The mission of the Black Daggers is to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of Army Special Operations community relations and recruiting. Composed of volunteers from throughout Army special operations, the Black Daggers have diverse backgrounds and are skilled in various military specialties including Special Forces, Rangers, civil affairs, psychological operations, and signal and support. With an average age of 33 and an average number of free-fall jumps at 560, the team represents the professionalism and dedication of Army special operations forces.
Although capable of performing both high-altitude, low-opening and high-altitude, high-opening jumps, the principle technique demonstrated by the Black Daggers is the Halo. This form of stealth insertion used to land troops and equipment behind enemy lines was first conducted in combat during the Vietnam War by the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group, a multiservice U.S. special operations unit in which Army Special Forces played a large role.