BRUNSWICK, GA (WCSC) - When he's not forecasting the weather for your neighborhood, Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh has a different title: Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
For the past three years, Walsh has been assigned to the elite U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos and during a recent mission, he took a big step.
The Para-Commandos represent more than 60,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines operating in more than 70 countries around the world. A recent mission took them to the Wings Over the Golden Isles air show in Brunswick, Georgia, where Walsh's job as either drop zone safety officer or narrator usually keeps him on the ground.
But not this time.
As the team readied for the first jump, Army Green Beret Lt. Col. Ken Ates briefed Walsh on the procedures and made sure they were good to go. Within minutes, their Twin Otter plane takes to the skies and climbs higher and higher.
When they reached 12,500 feet, the team leader and jump master spotted the landing area to make sure their exit is over the right spot. Then it was time: Walsh's teammates climbed out on the edge of the aircraft, counted to three...and jumped.
"In an instant, we're racing towards earth at 120 mph," Walsh said.
His teammates, MSgt. Kyle Margelofsky and SFC Cory Christiansen, were flying around shooting amazing video of the jump, at times just inches away.
Then, when passing through 6000 feet, they opened the parachute and deployed the iconic black and gold canopy of U.S. Special Operations, slowing them from 120 mph to around seven as they flew on the wind towards earth.
After an amazing ride, Ates set up their landing and they slid back onto the earth's surface.
"I'll tell you one thing," Walsh said. "This man right here, an honor to jump with Green Beret Ken Ates!"