LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart will once again perform a tandem parachute jump with the Army Golden Knights as the world-famous team returns to middle Tennessee April 10-13.
Barnhart first jumped with the Army’s official parachute team in 2010. The jumps will be held each day at Outlaw Field in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Barnhart is slated to jump on April 11.
“To be able to participate in this jump with the Army Golden Knights is an honor and a thrill,” Barnhart said. “The Golden Knights represent and serve our country so well and their expertise makes them the best in the world at what they do.”
Barnhart will be part of a four-day camp that will include more than 60 other jumpers. He will join the list of past tandem jumpers including: Darryl Worley, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler and members of Little Big Town.
“We’re excited to have one of the U.S. Army’s elite units back in the middle Tennessee area this year,” said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Polosky, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville. “Our event last year was quite successful, and we’re grateful to have another opportunity this year.”
Polosky said jumpers were nominated by local Army recruiters. The jumpers are a diverse group of educators, entertainers, civic leaders and sports figures.
“We were delighted when Mr. Barnhart expressed his desire to jump again,” Polosky said. “We appreciate his cooperation in the past and the great support we get from the University of Kentucky in our efforts to promote service in the Army and Army Reserve.”
Tandem jumpers are attached to an experienced Golden Knights’ jumper. The pair will exit the aircraft from up to one mile off the ground and then land on Clarksville’s Outlaw Field.
Jumps are made only after a bloc of training and time to familiarize with their jumper. Once tandem partners are fitted with their gold-and-black jump suits, they will board the aircraft.
The tandem duos usually have a one-minute freefall before their parachutes are open. Upon landing, they are interviewed by Golden Knights’ personnel who will take video footage and still photographs of their jump.
Millions of people throughout the world come to see the Golden Knights each year at more than 100 demonstration sites across the nation and abroad. Demonstration teams can support events with two totally different shows staged at an altitude of 12,500 feet above the earth. Team members demonstrate the maneuverability of the human body while falling at speeds in excess of 120 mph.
United States Army Parachute Team was founded in 1959. By 1962, the team earned the nickname the “Golden Knights.” The color “Golden” signified the gold medals the team had won while “Knights” alluded to the team’s ambition to conquer the skies.