ST. LOUIS (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, toured the greater St. Louis area April 29 - May 1, making multiple demonstration jumps as part of St. Louis Navy Week.
Shows were held at Busch Stadium to help open the Cardinals/Brewers game, as well as a number of high schools on both sides of the Mississippi River. The Frogs even teamed up with explosive ordnance disposal technicians and the Navy Band for an appearance at St. Louis' City Museum.
"This was really amazing," said Joe, a student at Alton High School, after the demonstration jump at his campus. "I really liked it, but I was surprised to see it happen at my school."
The surprise felt by Joe and hundreds of other students like him illustrates the importance of performances by the Leap Frogs in demonstrating the U.S. Navy's capabilities to people who live far from the ocean.
"For these people, and especially these kids, who don't have daily contact with the Navy, it's important for us to get out there, show them what we're about and answer all of their questions," said Leap Frogs team chief, Chief Special Warfare Operator Brad Woodard.
The demonstrations in St. Louis extended beyond military capabilities; they also carried a lesson on the importance of applied science. Jumps next to the St. Louis Science Center and equipment demonstrations at the City Museum gave those interested an inside look at some of the science that goes into the military and precision parachuting. One inventive teacher was even able to incorporate the Leap Frogs' performance into her lessons.
"We have a parachute lab in physics class as an engineering project," said science teacher Pamela Wahl. "We're doing it right now."
The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform aerial parachute demonstrations in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy recruiting. The team is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, having been commissioned by the Chief of Naval Operations in 1974 and tasked with demonstrating Naval excellence around the country.
The Navy Parachute Team will be seen next at the X-Games in Austin June 5-8.
For more news from U.S. Navy Parachute Team, visit www.navy.mil/local/usnpt/.