The Australian Defence Force’s Red Berets parachute display team thrilled spectators celebrating Australia Day as they soared over the Sydney Opera House on January 26.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from the ADF Parachuting School’s Red Berets parachute display team drop into Sydney’s Australia Day festivities. Story by Major Dan Mazurek. Photo: by Corporal Sagi Biderman.
Trailing smoke and carrying a huge Australian national flag and an Army flag, four paratroopers leapt from the ramp of a CASA 212 aircraft, formed-up into a tight formation and landed safely together in Circular Quay as the sun set over Sydney Harbour.
The Red Berets, formed in 1974, comprises Australian Defence Force Parachuting School instructional and support staff, who are all qualified military free-fall paratroopers specially selected and trained prior to joining the team.
Australia Day marks only the third public demonstration the team has been able to perform in the past year amidst COVID-19 cancellations.
“It feels great to have the team in the air jumping over Sydney for Australia Day,” said ADF Parachuting School regimental sergeant major, Warrant Officer Class One S, who has protected identity.
“Obviously, there’s been a lot of challenges this past year, but it’s good to be back inspiring our fellow Australians at events like this.
“Showcasing the skills and precision of the Australian Defence Force and inspiring people is what the Red Berets are all about.”
The jump was the climax in a full line-up of Australia Day celebrations including a 21-gun salute, live music and other military aircraft demonstrations.
The Red Berets are planning to resume their busy demonstration schedule with several high-profile events in 2022, including the 184th Hobart Regatta and the Melbourne Grand Prix.