AFA to appear at bowl games

87670583An Air Force Academy team will take the field at two bowl games during this college bowl season.

Cadets from the Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue parachute demonstration and competition team are giving up their holiday break to dive into the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl on Saturday, and the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will feature Michigan versus Kansas State on Saturday and is played at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. But before one down of football is played, the Wings of Blue will jump into the stadium as part of the pre-game festivities. The game airs 8:15 p.m. MST on ESPN.

The Discover Orange Bowl features Clemson versus Ohio State, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on Jan. 3, and airs 6:30 p.m. MST on ESPN.

The Air Force Academy’s 98th Flying Training Squadron operates the Wings of Blue, which comprises 75 cadets and approximately 35 staff members.

The team performs more than 40 nationwide demonstrations annually to an estimated combined audience of 12 million people.

In doing so, the 98th FTS also operates the Air Force’s most prolific parachute program, executing 20,000 jumps and 3,500 UV-18B flight hours each year. The program allows more than 800 cadets per year the opportunity to earn their basic parachutist badge.