DFCAT Parachuting

Defence Forces Parachuting  is represented by An Para Cumann Mileata (DFCAT Parachuting) with their Black Knights team, who are now competing as the Irish National Team.

‘The Black Knights’ is the most successful parachute team ever to come out of Ireland (military or civilian). It won the 2010 French Military Skydiving Championships, much to surprise of all the French Teams! It came 12th at the CISM (International Military Sports Council) World Championships in July 2010, despite a late substitution due to an injury to a member of the original team. It also came 1st in the informal competition for genuine military parachute teams i.e. teams made up of soldiers with full-time operational appointments. The year culminated with the team winning the Irish National Parachute Championships in October 2010, and accordingly the team is now considered as the Irish National Team


The success of 2010 can be attributed to the dedication of the individuals and staff involved in the team since 1972 and also to the support received from the Director of DF Training (DDFT). While the majority of training and competition costs are met by individual team members and by club fundraising, DDFT has been very supportive, within the obvious limits imposed by current financial constraints.

The team’s goal for 2011 is to finish in the top ten in the World at both the CISM World Military Games in Brazil in July and the civilian World Parachuting Championships in Germany in August, where they will represent Ireland as the national team. Apart from competition success, the team forms the backbone of the DF Parachute Training Team, which organises and conducts both formal courses and regular currency training for parachutists from across the DF.  This includes first time jumper, jumpmaster, instructor, display and night jump training. Over 70 parachute wings were awarded to members of the Permanent and Reserve forces in 2010.

In addition, ‘The Black Knights’ continue to perform display jumps each year as part of the DF Public Relations Effort. Highlights in recent years have included Rugby international fixtures in Lansdowne Road, the World Special Olympics Finals, the Salthill and Bray Airshows, National Community Games Finals and numerous DF events such as the Lt Gen Dermot Earley Memorial Trophy competition, the Congo 50th Anniversary celebrations and numerous garrison open days. Team members have even performed display jumps while on duty overseas, for example in East Timor and Chad.

DFCAT Parachuting


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