Air Force Pararescue Specialists and Astronaut/Entrepreneur Larry Connor Will Jump from 35,000 ft. to Raise Funds for Children of Fallen Warriors
[Melbourne, Fla.–August 1, 2023] – Operator Solutions, a leading provider of specialized search and rescue solutions to the commercial spaceflight and private sectors, and Larry Connor, pilot of the Axiom Space Ax-1 Mission and Founder and Managing Partner of The Connor Group, a nationally recognized real estate investment firm, are proud to announce the launch of the Alpha 5 Project, a mission to set a new world record for the highest HALO (high altitude, low opening) formation skydive and raise $1 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) through donations at https://specialops.org/alpha5/.
To break the existing unofficial world record for the highest HALO formation, skydive, the five jumpers will ascend to an altitude of 35,000 feet in a specially designed hot air balloon along with a balloon pilot and O2 Tech while following HALO safety protocols and wearing full oxygen equipment. From there, the jumpers will exit the balloon, link arms, and form a five-person formation before safely separating and landing. A representative from Guinness World Records will be present to assess and validate the record-setting achievement.
The Alpha 5 Project mission is to highlight the invaluable work carried out by SOWF, while also serving as a tribute to the remarkable skills and technical prowess of U.S. Air Force Special Warfare Pararescue Specialists known as “PJs.” SOWF honors fallen Special Operations Personnel, and all Medal of Honor Recipients, by providing comprehensive educational opportunities to their children, “cradle to career,” from preschool through college, as well as immediate financial support to wounded, ill, and injured Special Operations Personnel.
Impressed by Operator Solutions’ commitment to excellence during the Ax-1 Mission to the International Space Station, Connor approached Founder and CEO Brandon Daugherty to collaborate on a high-altitude jump for a purpose. Daugherty, a PJ, and Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, assembled a team of four current and former PJs (including himself) to perform the jump alongside Connor, as well as a full support team to ensure its safe and successful execution.
“The Alpha 5 Project combines the challenge of setting a world record with the purpose of raising awareness for an incredible organization that honors the legacy of Special Operations Personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our Nation,” said Connor. “I’m proud to be able to shine a light on these unsung heroes and the incredible technical expertise and dedication of the PJs and the Special Operations community. They are the best of the best.”
“Special Operations Warrior Foundation is an incredible organization that cares for the children and the legacy of America’s Special Operations Personnel and, as someone with seven overseas deployments to combat zones, it’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart and to everyone in the Special Operations community,” added Daugherty. “We’re excited to make this jump to shine a spotlight on this great organization and raise the funds that will allow them to continue their mission.”
“We invite the Nation to join us in celebrating the exceptional capabilities of America’s PJs and the enduring mission of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. Together, we can make a significant impact on the lives of our country’s heroes and ensure a bright future for their children,” shared Major General (Ret.) Clayton M. Hutmacher, President & CEO of Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
The Alpha 5 Project will take place at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM, within the jump window of September 15 to October 15 (due to weather conditions and restrictions).
100% of funds raised will go directly to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Learn more and donate at https://specialops.org/alpha5/