U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute into the Big E

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A few special visitors dropped into the Big E Tuesday night.

The elite team of Navy parachute jumpers made a special landing outside of Gate 9 and received a visit from a highly decorated local veteran.

Rainy weather canceled a jump over Central High School, but by Tuesday evening, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs were cleared to land outside the Big E.

“Unfortunately if the clouds are too low, or the winds are too high, then that kind of limits our abilities, but once it opens up, we get some nice blue skies, lighter winds, and we’re able to make things happen,” said Andrew Young.

The Leap Frogs made their mid-air acrobatics look easy, but it takes a lot of effort and training to execute.

“In that training process we get anywhere from 200 to 300 jumps so we can really fine-tune those skills such as accuracy, all the canopy work we’re doing up there, and the free fall stuff as well,” Young explained to 22News. “It’s a lot to learn, and a lot of different places to tour and jump into.”

Most of the jumpers start within Naval special warfare and Tuesday, the Leap Frogs got a special visit from Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski, a former Navy Seal and Northampton native who received the medal of honor from the president this year.

“It’s very rare that we do meet a medal of honor recipient, so it’s spectacular,” said Chief Luke Vesci. “Just an honor to land and see him here.”

The parachute team next heads to Virginia to parachute into the next Virginia Tech football game.

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