The Wings of Blue have a long standing commitment to personal and organizational excellence as well as a storied history of success. While the airspace that the Wings of Blue operates in is some of the busiest VFR airspace in the world, their drop zone is one of the safest. The primary mission of the Wings of Blue is to run the Air Force basic free-fall course AM490. Members of the team serve primarily as jump masters and instructors for this course, devoting most of their time to teaching students about parachuting and training them to make unassisted freefell skydives. AM490 is the only first-jump program in the world where students can make their first freefell jump without assistance. The Wings of Blue makes roughly 19,000 jumps per year for AM490 and training, which results in approximately 700 jump wings being awarded annually. The Wings of Blue demonstration team is composed of United States Air Force Academy cadet jumpers and 98th FTS staff members who perform globally on a regular basis. When the team is not teaching AM490, they are training for aerial demonstrations or parachuting competitions. They jump for crowds ranging in size from dozens to a hundred thousand to show off their aerial skills with high speed maneuvers in freefall as well as precision canopy flight. The Wings of Blue demonstration team performs at every home Air Force football game, various airshows throughout the nation, and other high profile venues. Some of these include aircraft carriers, the Rose Bowl, NFL games, and MLB games. In addition to demonstrations throughout the nation, the Wings of Blue have also appeared on the international scene performing in countries such as Chile, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
While the demonstration team is performing and helping to spread awareness about the Air Force, the Wings of Blue competition team is representing the Air Force in a different way. The Wings of Blue competes in 6-way speed formations, 4-way relative work, 2-way free fly, classic accuracy, and sport accuracy. Each year they compete at the National Parachuting Championships and at the National Collegiate Parachuting Competition. The intense training for these competitions requires the Wings of Blue competition teams to forgo the leave that they have for Thanksgiving and Christmas Break and spend that time making as many jumps as possible. The competition team has won the National Collegiate Parachuting Championships for 32 out of 43 years. They have produced 330 national champions and won 887 medals at the national level. Their competition team continues to dominate the National Collegiate Parachuting Competition.
The Wings of Blue’s success is not only limited to demonstrations and competitions, however. Currently, the Wings of Blue holds the national record for the biggest collegiate formation– a formation comprised of 41 people.