Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs

Trace the development of “Air” capabilities of Naval Special Warfare units from the earliest experiments to the exceptional skill and cutting-edge expertise of today. This is the first of a three-volume trilogy covering the Sea, Air, and Land capabilities of Navy SEALs and their Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) precursors. Follow the development of:Air Capabilities Navy SEALs

  • Static Line and Freefall Parachuting
  • Early Underwater Demolition Team Parachuting
  • High-Altitude, Low-Opening (HALO)
  • High-Altitude, High-Opening (HAHO) Techniques
  • U.S. Navy Parachute Demonstration Teams
  • Capabilities with Helicopters, Fixed-Wing, and Tilt-Rotor Aircraft
  • Combatant Submersible and Maritime Craft Air Delivery Systems
  • Experimentation with the Fulton Skyhook
  • Tactical Air-Insertion Techniques and Procedures
  • Infiltrating with Tactical Nuclear Weapons
  • Navy Frogmen and the Nation’s Spaceflight Program

Air Capabilities of the U.S. Navy SEALs tells the story of individual initiative, personal daring, clever innovation—and a few calamities along the way. Every page is richly illustrated, many with never‑before published images.


Told by the Men Who Lived the History

Captain Norm Olson Navy SEALAuthor Captain Norman Olson retired from the Navy SEAL Teams with over 30 years commissioned service, spanning the Korean Police Action, Vietnam Conflict, and Cold War. He served his final three-year tour in the Navy as the first Chief of Staff of the newly formed Joint Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Much of the book includes his first-person accounts as Officer in Charge of the first detachment of Frogmen to attend the U.S. Army’s Basic Airborne Training School, and his actions and activities as founder of the first UDT-SEAL Parachute Demonstration Team. His experiences are expanded with the personal recollections of other frogmen who lived this story. Captain Olson made his 4,000th freefall jump on 14 March 2011, his 80th birthday. Additionally, Captain Olson was recognized for attaining 60-hours in freefall, and being inducted into the Jumpers Over Eighty Society (JOES). At the drop zone, he was irreverently referred to as the “Sky Fossil!” He has also been inducted into the U.S. Special Operations Command Commando Hall of Honor.

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A Preview of the Spectacular Photographs that Illustrate Every Page

The “Dirty Dozen plus Three” were the first class of frogmen to graduate from the Army’s Airborne school in Fort Benning, Georgia.
A UDT jumper wearing a football helmet, reserve and main parachute, and inflatable boat secured to his this chest, briefed in 1966 to Admiral D.L. MacDonnell, Chief of Naval Operations, by LCDR Norm Olson, Commanding Officer, UDT-11.
Original Navy Leap Frog Parachute Team 1963
The original U.S. Navy Parachute Demonstration Team, the Leap Frogs, circa 1963.
fulton skyhook
The Fulton Skyhook plucked frogmen from the sea and took them airborne in seconds.
SEAL Freefall with SADM portable nuclear bomb
A SEAL operator jumps with a Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM), a man-portable nuclear weapon in the early 1960s. If actually deployed, SEALs knew they were on a suicide mission.
SDV helicopter transport
Naval Special Warfare not only can deliver operators by air, but also all of their equipment. This SEAL Delivery Vehicle is being transported by helicopter.
Astronaut Selection Frogmen UDT Test Subjects
When the Air Force needed to set standards for selecting astronauts who could withstand the physiological and psychological stress of space travel in 1958, they turned to Navy frogmen as the most physically fit in the U.S. Armed Forces. The first group to be tested included (l-r): Tom McAllister, Lenny Waugh, Bill Bruhmuller, and Harvey “Rip” Collins. (Courtesy The National Navy SEAL-UDT Museum).
Apollo 11 BIG suits
Frogman Clancey Hatleberg greets the first men to walk on the moon from the Apollo 11 command capsule. The recovery team members also included Wes Chesser, Mike Mallory, and John Wolfram. They can be seen wearing Biological Isolation Garments (BIG suits), because NASA was concerned about contamination by lunar microbes.
UDT frogmen chesser and wolfram
The team battled 10-foot-high waves and 28-mph winds to attach a 200-pound inflatable flotation ring around the Apollo 11 capsule. Frogman Mike Mallory snapped this picture of teammates Wes Chesser and John Wolfram after the successful operation to recover the command capsule from Apollo 11–just another day at the office. (Photo Courtesy Mike Mallory)

Publication Date: December 10, 2017.

Book Launch Press Kit

Book Launch Press Release
About the Book
Launch Events
About Author Norman Olson
About Author Hawkins
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