Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Leap Frogs Kick Off Quad City Air Show

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michelle Kapica, Naval Special Warfare Public Affairs

DAVENPORT, Iowa (NNS) -- Approximately 100,000 air-show enthusiasts watched as the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, kicked off the 24th annual Quad City Air Show in Davenport, Iowa, June 26-27.

The Leap Frogs, composed of Navy SEALs, special warfare combatant-craft crewmen and parachute riggers, parachuted down from an Alaska Air National Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft during the opening ceremony of the two-day event.

Spectators packed the flight line and cheered as the team jumped from 8,000 feet above show center. The jumpers deployed their blue and gold main canopies and linked up in what is called canopy-relative work. The jumpers formed bi-plane and T-formations. Two jumpers had the crowd on their feet as they performed a down plane and swooped in for an impressive, precision landing. The team rocketed toward the ground at more than 120 miles per hour in a bomb burst formation for the final jump June 27.

A few young cadets from the Davenport Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol (DCSCAP) got the chance to meet the team up close, when they were invited to help pack the Leap Frogs' parachutes after the performance.

"They were amazing!" said Nick Reed, a DCSCAP cadet. "I hope to get my skydiving license and maybe join the Navy and become one of these people one day. That would be a dream job!"

Various aerobatic display teams followed the Leap Frogs' performance, including the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Legacy Flights, U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet and U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle, in addition to many civilian teams. The event concluded with a re-enactment of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

"I love the Leap Frogs, they're fantastic!" said Ken Hopper, president, founder and air boss of Quad City Air Show. "Their performance today just goes to show that the Leap Frogs will jump if humanly possible, and they just have that Navy can-do attitude."

"We are thrilled to be part of the air show," said Chief Special Warfare Operator Justin Gauny, leading chief petty officer of the Leap Frogs. "We really enjoy coming out and performing at events like this. It's a great opportunity to show the public a little bit about what we do."

The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform parachute demonstrations across the United States in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy Recruiting Command.