SAN DIEGO — Turn your eyes to the sky this weekend for the 2022 MCAS Miramar Airshow.
The Golden Knights, a U.S. Army parachute demonstration and competition team, is sure to wow audiences with aerial stunts.
Nine elite aerial soldiers parachuted at 60 mph from clear blue skies onto the flight deck of the USS Midway on Wednesday ahead of the weekend events.
For the first soldier out of the plane, Staff Sergeant Nahu Ramirez, this is a passion turned into a profession.
“While I lived in Murrieta, across the street was a drop zone and I saw jumpers fly every day and I was like ‘Ooh, that’s a pretty cool hobby. I picked up skydiving as a personal hobby and found out the army actually has a job like that and you get to travel every weekend across the country and perform for millions of people and it’s just a pleasure and an honor,” Ramirez said.
On board the USS Midway, his wife Dominique looked out for him.
“It’s nerve-racking, I have to say, having him be the first one to jump on the midway, you are hoping, ‘Man please don’t go in the water,’ but having the confidence in him and seeing him be able to do it is really exciting,” she said. “He started jumping when we were dating, so I got to see him start from not being so good to maybe thinking about trying out to be a Golden Knight to now living his dream and being excellent at it, I couldn’t be prouder of him.“
Robert Healey, Ramirez’s nephew, looks up to him.
“When I am 16, I could jump out of an airplane with him,” Healey said.
As the narrator of the team Wednesday, Ramirez jumped out and landed first on the flight deck to check weather conditions.
“I do assess the winds and make sure the drop is safe for the rest of the jumpers. My job is to come down and provide the information to our ground control officer to get it up to the aircraft and the rest of the team will start jumping and that’s when I start my pieces of narration,” he said.
The elite soldiers perform and compete as a parachute team at more than 100 events per year, including international events, NASCAR races and Monday Night Football games.
Ramirez has ties to San Diego, attending Mira Mesa High School. Wednesday marked his first jump in San Diego as a Golden Knight.
“It really made me feel a lot better, a lot more confident. I wanted to perform for my family and show them what I have done, from when I enlisted in the military to where I am now. I have always pushed myself. Everything in my military career, I have gotten the opportunity to choose for myself and I am proud to be here,” he added.