U.S. Navy SEALs battled terrorists during filming of an episode of the hit Fox Network television show “24” Aug. 12-13 at an airport in Camarillo.
A group of Navy SEALs from San Diego volunteered to act as extras in the show, adding realism to a story for “24.” They were accompanied by two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters and their flight crews assigned to the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21. The Sailors were asked to participate in fast-roping and target-assault scenes.
Producers of “24” asked the Navy to help because of their previous support of the show. Two years ago, the Navy allowed directors to film aboard a nuclear submarine homeported at Point Loma Naval Base, Calif., for two days. This season they needed a different kind of help.
“We originally called upon the Navy because we needed helicopters,” said producer Michael Klick. “The story line called for a joint FBI-Navy collaboration. We called the Navy Information Office and they got back to us with ‘how about we have Navy SEALs fast-rope and participate in the scene?’ and we thought that it sounded great.”
The rough story line is that character Jack Bauer uncovered a terrorist cell on U.S. soil. The President of the United States authorized the use of the Navy SEALs to capture the terrorists who have attacked Washington.
SEALs fast-roped out of the two SH-60 helicopters and surrounded a building where the suspected terrorists were located, according to the script.
The shoot was directed by Emmy-winning director and executive producer Jon Cassar.
“It was long hours, but still a good time,” said Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Shad Tucker. “Several friends of mine who are prior military have done this type of work before and they said it was pretty neat. This was overall a good opportunity to meet people in Hollywood.”
Although requesting SEAL volunteers in movies is not uncommon in Hollywood, it is a first for “24.”
“This is our first time working with the SEALs, mostly because Jack Bauer works alone,” laughed Click. “We haven’t worked with them before, not because we didn’t want to, because we couldn’t find an opportunity. This was the first opportunity we have had to use them and hopefully we are going to have more.”
The episode is part of season seven of the show, which will air on Fox in January.
The Naval Special Warfare community is a maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Command and the Navy’s special operations force. The community is composed of over 6,700 personnel, including 2,300 SEALs, 600 Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC), along with military support personnel, Reserve components, and civilian staff. SEALs and SWCC focus on missions involving unconventional warfare, direct action, combating terrorism, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, information warfare, security assistance, counter-drug operations, personnel recovery and hydrographic reconnaissance.
Dominique Lasco (NNS)