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Wings of Blue wins 46 medals at national competition

Posted 1/8/2013   Updated 1/8/2013 Email story   Print story


by 2nd Lt. Keenan Kunst
12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

1/8/2013 - ELOY, Ariz. -- The Wings of Blue Air Force Parachute Team won 46 medals and set five national collegiate records at the National Collegiate Parachute Competition here Jan. 2.

Wings of Blue skydivers took home 13 gold, 18 silver and 15 bronze medals at the competition, held from Dec. 2 to Jan. 2.

The Air Force Legacy team set a record for most points ever scored in a single round of four-way competition skydiving. Bill Wengers, part of the Air Force Wild team, set two records with his build in speed in the six-way.

Cadet 1st Class Dustin Weeks, who won the outstanding competitor award, set the record for best average score in sport accuracy and most consecutive dead-centers in the same category, with four dead-centers.

The Wings of Green, Wings of Blue's training team, augmented the team during the competition, allowing this level of success to continue for many years to come, said Master Sgt. Bryan Stokes, the 98th Flying Training Squadron superintendent.

"The Wings of Green made a commitment to take things to a whole different level," Stokes said. "Their work ethic and dedication was the best I've ever seen."

The 98th FTS operates the Wings of Blue, which comprises 75 cadets and approximately 35 staff members. The team performs more than 40 nationwide demonstrations annually to an estimated combined audience of 12 million people.

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 students per year the opportunity to earn their basic parachutist badge.

"Between the success at nationals and the team's recent performances at the Buffalo Wild Wings, Armed Forces and Orange bowls, I couldn't be prouder of the cadets and staff who comprise the Air Force Parachute Team," said Lt. Col. Sean McLay, the 98th FTS commander.

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