LODI (CBS13) – They’re flying high in a battle in the sky. It’s a battle to become the best, and they are members of a military precision team.
They’ve come from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Lodi Parachute Center to acquire very specialized skills.
Skydiving is all about precision, from the time the parachutes are packed and loaded to the moment divers take to the sky.
After that, for most people, the ride is more freeform. Not so for these members of a Qatari national team in training.
“We have orders to have the accuracy team to represent the military, to represent Qatar in competition,” said Ihab Mohamed.
Qatar is a small country. The two dozen athletes want to make their mark in the world of competitive skydiving by hitting a small mark on the ground.
To help in their quest, they recruited a former member of Italy’s military team.
“I’m coaching the guys to fly the parachute to arrive in a perfect way on the target,” said Vittorio Guarinelli.
The divers have to land on a taget that’s only two centimeters and there’s still work to be done. The men miss the mark more often than not on a slightly windy Tuesday. Gravity and airspeed push and pull, with the skydiver forced to make second by second adjustments. It’s why they’re here training.
But by late in the year, this team from Qatar hopes to be ready to make their country proud in the World Championships in Dubai.
The team’s training here in the U.S. is supposed to last 40 days, and they’re almost halfway through it. Originally, they started the sessions in Florida, but the weather got too bad, and they moved training here.