Contrary to what you may think, the missions of the Navy SEALs are not always about doing direct action or special reconnaissance assignments that involve high risk and outright danger in terms of combat. Sometimes, Navy SEALs are called upon to promote a positive image of the Navy to the general American public. The SEALs and other Navy personnel assigned to this task are none other than the Navy Parachute Team.
The Navy Parachute Team is the Navy’s corps of showmen and entertainers. They may not be detailed to active combat duty, but it does not mean that their job is less dangerous than the ones deployed to fight in wars have. Their battlefield may be different but their mission is no less special.
Entertaining Crowds: The Job of the Navy Parachute Team
As mentioned above, the mission of the Navy Parachute Team is to cultivate and promote a positive image of the Navy in the minds of the American public. They do this by performing at air shows staged in schools and other public places.
The performances of the Navy Parachute Team go beyond the ordinary. These performances always involve jumping off aircraft from an altitude of 12,500 feet and then going into free fall. During free fall, the members of the team link their bodies and create different kinds of formations.
When they reach 5,000 feet, they would open their parachutes and perform canopy and stacking formations with the use of their chutes. Afterwards, they would land one after the other with the utmost precision. These daring jumps so high up in the sky have earned the Team the nickname “Leapfrogs.”
After these jumps, the Navy Parachute Team members make themselves available to the public to answer questions about the Navy SEALs, the Naval Special Warfare community and the Navy in general.
The Impact of the Navy Parachute Team
Entertaining crowds and promoting the good image of the Navy is a job that the Navy Parachute Team has been doing since 1969. In its early days, the Team’s efforts were informal and done completely outside of the Navy, with volunteers performing only at weekend shows. It was only in 1974 that the Team’s official status was commissioned by the Navy. They are, in effect, the goodwill ambassadors of the Navy and are highly trained for the job.
What the Navy Parachute Team aims to demonstrate at every air show is the excellence of the Navy in general – not just the Navy SEALs but the entirety of the Navy itself. Through the Team, the Navy hopes to inspire young men and women to aspire to become part of the Navy. This is why whenever the Navy holds activities related to recruiting new blood into its ranks, they almost always include a performance by the Navy Parachute Team.
The typical image of the Navy SEALs is of highly-trained commandos conducting special warfare, whether using stealth or direct action. The Navy Parachute Team may seem like a different breed of SEALs and Navy personnel, but their mission is just as special and just as important.
This Article is written by James Kara Murat