For many the thought of jumping from a plane would be a terrifying prospect however for Lance Corporal Jake Manwaring from Battle it is all in a day’s work.
Jake is currently based in Paderborn, Germany with the 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) where he has just completed two weeks of intensive training. As well as soldiering, he is a member of his Regiment’s parachute team known as the Tigers Free Fall Parachute Display Team.
A former pupil at Battle Claverham Community College, Jake, 21, says one of the biggest challenges the team face is the amount of hours they have to put into their training to prepare for the forthcoming display season. “It is hard and requires a high level of discipline as we have to rehearse all the techniques we use in the displays,” he said.
“Canopy formations, linkages, high speed manoeuvres and precision landings from various heights ranging from 13,000 down to 2,500 feet.
“In all we have probably jumped 80-90 times in the two weeks. I look at every jump as being a learning jump with the aim of improving all the time.”
The Tigers have various display routines, all dynamic in style to hold the audience captivated throughout the entire routine, with an equally exciting commentary provided by one of the team members.
Jake is a key jumper of the demonstration team having achieved 300 jumps in 16 months, it is not his only job as Jake also fulfils the important role of the team’s media officer, something he says he had to learn fairly quickly. “Essentially I look at arranging everything from running the team’s website to developing our social media engagement and presence to organising television and radio interviews at the shows. It is a busy role but a great experience. I enjoy it and I am learning new skills all the time.”
The Tigers have a busy summer schedule which will see them jump into various arenas around the UK, including Eastbourne, and Europe. One important and unique jump has already been undertaken this year. Jake and the team ‘dropped’ into the gardens of their Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Margret the II of Denmark, to wish her a happy birthday.