BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33)(FOX 44)- Before the big moment when the crowd cheers and the lights go down for the big parachute jump, the united states special operations command has a lot of work to do and it all starts with the wind.
“We are looking to try and monitor the winds in tiger stadium as you can tell one side is open and the other side is closed. So sometimes that wind will come in and swirl a little bit,”Sergeant Matt Parrish said.
Parrish says the wind is key part of the landing process. The helicopter needs to move in the right direction so that the parachutes can land perfectly on the target. Saturday that target is the eye of the tiger in center of the stadium.
“We release some balloons to see what the wind is doing from the field up to the edge of the stadium and then from the plan we’ll through some paper streamers out,” Parrish said.
The paper streamers from the plane along with a couple wind meters on top the stadium help the pilot move with breeze so they land in the right spot. All the special operations command members are highly trained to measure the pressure and anticipate the jump. To do this job you have to have about 500 jumps in experience. The people here today have about 2,000 each.
“When you think about tiger stadium it looks like a postage stamp from up high. So you have to be instinctual and have lots of repetition to know what you’re parachute is going to do,” Parrish said.
But this jump isn’t just for entertainment or fanfare. Matt Parrish says it’s an opportunity for the nation to see what america ‘s special operations command can do.
“This is what we do for a living we prepare to make sure we can answer the nation’s call whatever it is.”
So when the clock strikes 20 minutes to kick off and Matt Parrish announces the special operations command, sit back and enjoy the show, but also appreciate skill.