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!
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
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.
The event will be held on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 9am-4pm. In case of inclement weather, the Competition will be held the following day, Sunday, August 2, 2020 from 9am-4pm. Times are approximate and subject to weather and operational considerations.
LEAPFEST is organized and hosted by the Rhode Island Army National Guard, and is the capstone event of 56th Troop Command and its subordinate units. Additional riggers, jumpmasters, and aviation support is provided from select Active duty and National Guard units outside of the Brigade and State in order to augment in-State assets.
If you are a member of the media, you may request Press Credentials through the RI Army National Guard’s Public Affairs Office (PAO). In order to do so, please contact the LEAPFEST Action Officer:
SSG Edward Comerford
YES. The event is open to the public and spectators are welcome at the “Drop Zone” on Competition Day (Saturday, 1 August 2020; rain date Sunday, 2 August 2020), located behind West Kingston Elementary School @ 3119 Ministerial Rd, West Kingston, RI 02892. Limited parking is available at the school, and a clearly marked spectator area will be established for the public at the edge of the field where the Paratroopers will land.
The event is open to the public and spectators are welcome at the “Drop Zone” on Competition Day (1 August 2020, rain date 2 August 2020), located behind West Kingston Elementary School @ 3119 Ministerial Rd, West Kingston, RI 02892. Limited parking is available at the school, and a clearly marked spectator area will be established for the public at the edge of the field where the Paratroopers will land.
YES. There is NO COST to observe the Competition.
LEAPFEST 2020 will be based in southern Rhode Island, at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and surrounding areas. The Drop Zone is located behind West Kingston Elementary School (3119 Ministerial Rd, West Kingston, RI 02892).
-International Competitorsare expected to arrive 27 JULY 2020 and depart 4 AUGUST 2020.
-US Competitors are expected to arrive 30 JULY 2020 and depart 4 AUGUST 2020.
Please visit the Registration page of the LEAPFEST website for instructions and requirements, etc:
Detailed requirements for International Paratroopers can be found in the 2020 MOI for all INTERNATIONAL TEAMS (PDF). The basic Registration requirements are listed below:
Detailed requirements for US Paratroopers can be found in the 2020 MOI for all US TEAMS (PDF). The basic Registration requirements are listed below:
Unfortunately, NO. The current LEAPFEST policy states that all competitors are required to be in an active military status with either Hazardous Duty Orders (HDO’s) for US personnel or the equivalent documentation of current jump status for Internationals (The Training Certification memo (Enclosure 3) found on the Registration page, signed by an OF-4 or higher will suffice).
-ALL International Competitors will conduct a familiarization jump using the MC-6 during the week leading into the Competition.
-US Paratroopersmust jump the MC-6 at least once within the year prior to Competition Day (August 1). The Training Certification (Enclosure 3), signed by an O5 or higher in the competitor’s chain of command, certifies that this requirement has been met.
-International Competitorsshould expect to get at least 4 jumps during the week of the event (1 x Familiarization, 2 x Competition, and 1 x Wing Exchange Jump).
-US Competitors should expect to get at least 3 jumps (2 x Competition and 1 x Wing Exchange Jump)
**Often, participants are able to jump more than once on Wing Exchange Day.**
YES. International Paratroopers earn US Jump Wings upon completion of the Familiarization Jump that is conducted during the week before the Competition.
YES. Barring a significant, multi-day weather event, ALL participating Paratroopers will have the opportunity to perform a jump under the direction of a Foreign Jumpmaster on Wing Exchange Day. LEAPFEST planners attempt to have as many different countries as possible attend the event, and place a high emphasis on getting International Jumpmasters to participate, in order to provide the greatest possible variety of Foreign Wings for Exchange. Unfortunately, we cannot allow competitors to get a choice in the Wings they earn because of the size of the event, number of personnel, and disparity in the number of wings and JM’s available. We’ve allowed competitors to self-select their wings in the past, and it was problematic.
Yes. Billeting is provided in dormitories at the University of Rhode Island. All meals will be provided at either a URI dining facility or in the field during jump days.
Two commercial airports service the region:
-The closer and smaller of the two, is TF Green International Airport in Warwick, RI (Airport code: PVD).
-The larger one, Logan International Airport in Boston, MA (Airport code: BOS), is farther away, but handles more international flights than TF Green.
International Competitors using either PVD or BOS may request transportation to/from the airport by checking the transportation request box on the Registration form and continuously updating the LEAPFEST planners on travel arrangements and itinerary changes.
US Service Membersmay choose either airport through the Defense Travel System (DTS), and are responsible for their own transportation to/from the event.
Family members and significant others are NOT authorized to reside in the dormitories with the competitors, NOR can they expect food to be provided, but may certainly attend the event. There are many hotels and restaurants in the area where accommodations may be made by the competitor to house and feed their guests.