It’s tough enough trying to become a Navy SEAL, so you can image the sharp skills and good luck needed to nab one of the coveted spots on the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the “Leap Frogs.” But who says you can’t jump with them, in a virtual kind of way?
The video (above) was produced in high definition by local production firm Surf’s Up Studios, which went wheels up to record the Navy’s famous parachute demonstration team make its entrance at the annual Coronado Speed Festival. On September 22-23, the annual racing car fest that is part of the ongoing Fleet Week celebrations around San Diego took over the vast acreage of concrete and asphalt at North Island Naval Air Station along San Diego Bay. The marriage of the two — high-flying Navy SEALs and fast cars — was fitting considering this year’s festival honored the 50th anniversary of the Navy commando force of special operators. The video offers an amazing, but dizzying, view from a helmet-mounted camera on one of the parachutists, who multitasks with smoke grenades and the chutes’ toggles to control his slow descent to the pavement.
Want another dose of those gravity-defying leaps but can’t quite stomach the jump? The Leap Frog’s parental unit, Naval Special Warfare Command, offers a handful of shorter videos here, complete with the requisite motivating rock music.
The blue-and-gold parachute team, comprised of SEALs and SWCCs, the special warfare combatant craft crewmen, is one of the command’s popular recruiting and marketing motivators for the SEAL/SWCC community. The Leap Frogs spend months traveling around the country, wowing crowds from football stadiums to city festivals and events, often bearing the U.S. flag during their colorful display, daring aerial maneuvers and precision landing. They just wrapped up performances at an air show in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and in New York City, where they honored the commissioning of the destroyer Michael Murphy, named for the fallen SEAL lieutenant and Medal of Honor recipient. This weekend, they will perform at the enormously popular Miramar Air Show in San Diego, along with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team.