Leapfest 2016

By: Category: EventsHelicoptersMilitaryParachutes

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Leapfest 2016

Leapfest, the Rhode Island National Guard’s annual international training event and parachute competition was held this year on August 6, 2016 at the University of Rhode Island campus near the corner of Flagg Rd and Plains Rd (pick up zone), and behind the West Kingston Elementary School on 3119 Ministerial Road, West Kingston, RI (drop zone).

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2016 is the 33rd annual Leapfest hosted by the 56th Troop Command featuring nearly 60 teams from nine countries including Canada, The Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, The Republic of South Africa, as well as teams from all over the United States. 20160806_0403_Leapfest

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Since 1982, Leapfest has been the largest, longest standing, international static-line parachute training event and competition.  Each team consists of 5 participants: 4 jumpers and 1 alternate jumper. Jumpers exit from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 1500 feet (457 meters) using an MC-6 static line, steerable, parabolic parachute. They attempt to land as close as possible to one of three "X"s marked on the drop zone. Once the paratrooper lands on the ground, their time starts and it only ceases when the jumper touches the "X". The team with the lowest combined time wins the competition. This is both an individual and team event as jumpers compete for fastest individual and team times. Each jumper must complete 2 jumps to be qualified for the individual award, and each team must complete 8 jumps in total to be qualified for the team award.

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Jumpers were carried aloft in CH-47 Chinook helicopters. The CH-47s orbit the drop zone, about a mile away from the loading zone, where the 4 jumpers would jump and land in the athletic field, and race to one of several orange "X"s. The CH-47 circle around again and drop another 4. I and others from the media flew near the Chinook in a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter enabling us to capture air-to-air photographs. We were also escorted onto the field of the drop zone to capture the action as the paratroopers landed and raced to the orange X's.

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This year's Leapfest 2016 team and individual winners: This year's winning teams are: 1) Detachment 2, 165th Quartermaster Company 2) Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 160th SOAR 3) Georgia National Guard Joint Team

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This year's individual winners are: 1) SSG Dean DeAngelo, Georgia National Guard 2) SGT 2ND Juan Carlos Ruiz, ODC Mexico (ABN) 3) SFC Rober Hughey, 160th SOAR

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For further information, you can look at: RI Guard on Twitter: @RINationalGuard RI Guard on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandNationalGuard/

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Huge thanks and shout out to the Rhode Island National Guard for organizing and hosting this event - awesome job!

 

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