FORT WORTH, Texas -- The U.S. Navy Parachute Team, The Leap Frogs, wrapped up their first Navy Week of the year at Dallas/Fort Worth April 27, a show trip which included two local baseball games and multiple air show performances.
The four-day trip began with opening jumps into the Frisco RoughRiders minor league baseball game and Texas Christian University college baseball, and ended with six performances at the Air Power Expo air show at Naval Air Station Fort Worth.
The seven-man demonstration team, composed of Navy SEALs and members of Naval Special Warfare, brought their famous blend of canopy maneuvers, smoke displays and high-flying flags into the opening ceremonies of each event, and were honored to fly the American flag during the opening national anthem each day of the air show. They were even called on to deliver the NAS Fort Worth commanding officer, Capt. Gil Miller, to the opening ceremonies in their own style, by jumping with him into the show center for his opening remarks.
"What a rush," Miller said. "I've jumped lots of times, but never like that and never here."
"It's a real honor to have such quiet professionals open up our air show like that," he added. "They come in and do something so amazing and they make it look so easy."
Chase Pruitt, 17, knew he wanted to become a SEAL since he was 13, hadn't actually spoken to one until meeting the Frogs at the RoughRiders game.
"I got some good advice on how to keep working on my weaknesses," Pruitt said, "and they told me how to find a SEAL mentor to help me get ready."
The Dallas/Fort Worth Navy Week is the team's first Navy Week of the year, and the team hit it with all the energy and professionalism they could muster.
"This is what we're supposed to be doing," said team chief, Chief Special Warfare Operator Brad Woodard. "We've all had our turn as operators in the field, and it's great to get out here in the public eye and show off what we can do, and also receive some of the appreciation and well-wishes from fans at the show on behalf of our still-operational SEAL brothers who can't be here to hear it for themselves."
The Leap Frogs are 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 St. Louis Navy Week from April 29 to May 1.