Story – Corporal Karikari-Ababio
A Royal Air Force (RAF) Serviceman from Accra, Ghana-West Africa is embarking on his first year as a Survival Equipment Specialist on the RAF Falcons Military Parachute Display Team.
Corporal Baz Karikari-Ababio, 38, a former pupil of Kumasi Polytechnic,began his first year on August 12, 2016 with the RAF Falcons, who are based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
“Being selected for the Team is a natural progression for me taking into consideration all the years spent working with parachutes on Airborne Delivery Wing (ADW),” he said. “I know it will test me outside my comfort zone because every day is different but that’s what I enjoy about this job.”
For over 50 years, the UK Military’s Parachute Display Team, the RAF Falcons, have delivered fast paced, high profile displays from up to 12,000ft across the UK and abroad. As well as putting on spectacular displays for the public to enjoy, the Parachute Jumping Instructors (PJIs) on the Team undertake intensive training throughout their tour, which prepares them to provide advanced PJI roles; responsible for the delivery of operationally focused parachute training for the entire UK Military. The PJIs are skilfully supported on the Team by two Survival Equipment Specialist, who are responsible for the management and maintenance of the Team’s parachutes and other safety equipment.
Cpl Karikari-Ababio joined the RAF in November 2003 andstarted working on the Parachute Engineering Squadron in March 2012; during this time he completed detachments to the Falklands Island and the London 2012 Olympics.
With years of parachute maintenance experience under his belt, supporting parachute training exercises in the USA and the UK, he was selected to join the RAF Falcons Display Team.
The RAF Falcons have completed their winter training in preparation for the 2017 display season, which commences on Friday 5th May 2017 with the Team’s Launch Day at RAF Brize Norton. Over the summer months the Team will conduct around 70 displays throughout the UK and Europe.
If you would like to find out more about the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team, their latest news, and upcoming displays near you, please visit www.raf.mod.uk/falcons. You can also keep up to date with the Team by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.