the LEAPFEST Event

The purpose of LEAPFEST 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.

How does the Competition work?

Each team consists of 4 Jumpers.  The Jumpers will exit from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 1500 feet (457meters) Above Ground Level (AGL) using an MC-6 static line, steerable, parabolic parachute.  All Leapfest Airborne Operations use the Ground Marked Release System (GMRS) with Jump Master Release.  Each aircraft will have 2 static JMs; a Spotting JM and a Safety JM.  There will be a DZSO / DZSTL located on the Drop Zone informing each pass of the current wind speed and making any minor adjustments, as needed.  All of these Jump Masters are provided by the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

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 all Competition Jumps (standard is 3, but this can be modified due to weather/time) to be qualified for the individual award, and all team members must complete each jump together on Competition Day 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.

The MC-6 Parachute

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.

Key Features:

  • Parabolic Canopy
  • Static Line Deployment
  • Steerable; Paratrooper can control forward speed and turn-rate in flight
  • Uses T-11R Reserve Parachute


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.

Key Features:

  • Rear ramp facilitates easy loading and dispatching of Paratroopers
  • Max Cruise speed of 160 knots
  • Max Troop capacity of 36 personnel
  • Min Crew of 3 personnel (Pilot, Co-Pilot, and Flight Engineer)

Drop Zone Glen Rock

Located in Exeter, RI on a privately owned farm, DZ Glen Rock is the new official Drop Zone of LEAPFEST.  The surveyed area is spheroid, containing a rectangular open field measuring roughly 800 meters by 750 meters.  The target X’s are positioned in a line running North-South through the center point of the DZ.  A spectator area is located just West of the surveyed area along the tree line that borders the open field.

Key Features:

  • Situated in close proximity to the pickup-zone (PZ HOPE) at the Quonset Army Aviation Support Facility
  • Accessible to the public for spectating
  • Located on private land (Adam’s Farm) which limits accidental civilian intrusion