Cadet 1st Class Andrew Taylor of the Wings of Blue Air Force Parachute Demonstration Team makes his 551st freefall jump as he carries the American Flag into Falcon Stadium as part of the pregame activities during Air Force's home opener against Northwestern State at Falcon Stadium Sept. 4, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Mike Kaplan)
Air Force Academy cadets with the Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Competition Team perform at the U.S. Parachuting Association’s national championships in Eloy, Ariz., Nov. 3. The “Air Force Intrepid” team took first place in the four-person intermediate free-flying event. (U.S. Air Force Photo)
A member of the Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Demonstration Team drops into Falcon Stadium during the pregame show for the Air Force-Army game Nov. 5, 2011. Falcon Stadium was sold out for the game, which the Falcons won, 24-14. (U.S. Air Force photo/Bill Evans)
1/3/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy's Wings of Blue parachuting team will jump into the Orange Bowl Wednesday.
Five cadets will parachute onto the 50-yard line, bringing with them the U.S. flag and several other flags. This will be part of the Orange Bowl's pre-game festivities, similar to how the Wings of Blue performs at Air Force Academy home football games.
Cadet 1st Class Ryan French of Jacksonville, Fla., will bring in the U.S. flag. He will be followed by fellow Cadets 1st Class Dane Lannon of Boston; Richard Brennan of Chicago; Michael O'Donnell of Syracuse, New York; and Willis Brown of Zionsville, Ind.
This year's Orange Bowl game pits #14 Clemson against #23 West Virginia, and will be televised on ESPN. Pregame programming begins at 6 p.m. MST.
The Air Force Academy makes more than 20,000 parachute jumps per year, and trains about 700 cadets in basic freefall parachuting annually.
Cadet parachuting at the Academy began in 1963 when interested cadets formed a recreational club. The basic Academy course evolved from that original club into today's program. The objectives of the parachute program are threefold: train cadets in basic free-fall parachuting, represent the Academy at competitions and demonstrations, and provide a leadership laboratory and motivational experience for cadets.