The CH-47 tactically transports forces and associated equipment and provides routine aerial sustainment of maneuver forces. Secondary missions the Chinook executes to support Soldiers and commanders include: medical evacuation, search and rescue, parachute drops, disaster relief, and aircraft recovery.
Developed through the U.S. Army Special Operations Force’s Tactical Assault Parachute System (SOFTAPS) program for precision infiltration, the MC-6 Army personnel parachute features the latest in advanced technology for steerable military parachute systems. It offers greater maneuverability, exceptional performance in high altitude drop zones and achieves a lower rate of descent compared to the MC-1 system.
Located in West Kingston, RI on a sod farm owned by the University of Rhode Island, DZ Castle has been in use by LEAPFEST for over 15 years. The surveyed area constituting the Drop Zone is a rectangle measuring 900 meters by 500 meters. The target X's are positioned in a line running south of the center point of the DZ. A spectator area is located just West of the surveyed area along the tree line that divides the field from West Kingston Elementary School (3119 Ministerial Rd).
The purpose of the competition is to promote the camaraderie and Esprit de Corps of the Airborne Soldier through international competition. The competition is routinely attended by representatives from Allied Foreign Militaries, as well as from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
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.
Participants aim to land as close as possible to a marked, designated area within the landing zone. Upon landing and completing a PLF (parachute landing fall), participants are timed by qualified judges until they reach the designated area.
This is both an individual and team event. 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.
In addition, we will be hosting a foreign jump exchange followed by a foreign jump wings pinning ceremony.
COVID-19 UPDATE - MAY 2020:
LEAPFEST 2020 is Officially Cancelled
This difficult decision is based on our continued prioritization of competitor and spectator safety, and the potential harm that may result from running such a popular and well-attended event. Additionally, the travel and social distancing restrictions that are now in effect make it impractical to conduct an International Parachute Competition here in Rhode Island. We are deeply disappointed to have to make this announcement and hope that everyone will join us next year for LEAPFEST 2021!
If you have Registered for LEAPFEST 2020, you will be contacted via email with more information regarding this cancellation. If you have submitted your Registration Payment, a refund will be forthcoming.
Thank you for your continued support of LEAPFEST!