BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The United States Special Operations Command PARA-COMMANDOS parachuted into Tiger Stadium to kick off the LSU vs. Florida football game Saturday, Oct. 12.
A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier carrying the game ball raced towards earth at 120 miles per hour from high above along with two other military jumpers. They skydived for more than two miles over Tiger Stadium before opening their iconic black and gold canopies during a precision parachute demonstration at the center of the field and landing in front of tens of thousands of fans.
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The Para-Commandos are the only demonstration team in the U.S. military with members from all branches.
“You can’t have a football game without the ball! It’s an exciting weekend for us since we get to head to Louisiana, demonstrate our military freefall skills, and hand-deliver the game ball right at mid-field,” said Team Leader Keith Walter ahead of the demonstration. “Our team is truly proud to represent Special Operations Command and be a part of a great weekend of LSU sports.”
The Para-Commandos are comprised of U.S. Special Operations Command personnel headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
Most are combat veteran special operators from the US Army Special Forces or Rangers, the US Air Force’s Special Tactics Squadrons, US Navy SEALs, or US Marine Corps Special Operations Raiders.
The United States Special Operations Command has about 85,000 Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and DoD civilians assigned to the headquarters, its four components, and seven sub-unified commands.
The matchup between No. 5 LSU and No. 7 Florida was a blow-for-blow slugfest for most of the game but the Tigers made more plays in the second half to get the win. Read more here.