JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A display of patriotism falling out of the skies and into EverBank Field. The perfectly-executed 3,500 foot free-fall was a demonstration by the United State Special Operations Command Para-Commandos.
Three members of the command headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa jumped out of a plane over the stadium and had about three minutes to land on the field, in a specific order.
"Love jumping into sporting events like this for the public and demonstrating one of the capabilities of the special operations command," said Lieutenant Colonel Ken Ates.
Ates got the crowd going landing on the field with the American Flag, and a little slip, but he recovered.
"I had to do something to recover from sliding in because I was coming in so fast so I just stood up and said safe," laughed Lt. Col. Ates.
First Coast News got an look at the test-jump before the game Friday afternoon. A Go-Pro camera on the helmet of each jumper recorded the drop from the sky. In the video, EverBank Field looks so small and each Para-Commando has to hit the mark to land in the field. A skill that takes great training.
"It can take anywhere from a year to 5 years depending on how many jumps you get," said Sergeant First Class Kyle Margelofsky.
Margelofsky has over 500 jumps. He displayed the Jaguars flag on the way down. It was his first time free-falling at EverBank Field, so we had to ask about what he thinks of the video boards.
"These things are incredible."
The Para-Commandos have combat experience made up of U.S. Army Green Berets, U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Air Force Special Tactics, U.S. Navy Seals, and U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations.
And the commandos were good luck. The Jaguars ended up beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first pre-season game, 16-10.