FAQs – 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 4 participants: 4 jumpers. 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.

When is LEAPFEST this year?

The event will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2024 from 9am-4pm.  In case of inclement weather, the Competition will be held the following day, Sunday, August 4, 2024 from 9am-4pm.  Times are approximate and subject to weather and operational considerations.

Who hosts LEAPFEST?

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.

How do photographers/journalists gain access to the event?

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:


Is it open to the public?

YES.  The event is open to the public and spectators are welcome at the “Drop Zone” on Competition Day (Saturday, 3 August 2024; rain date Sunday, 4 August 2024), located on Adams Farm in Exeter RI, public parking is available at 300 Hog House Hill Rd.  A clearly marked spectator area will be established for the public at the edge of the field where the Paratroopers will land.

Where can I watch the event?

The event is open to the public and spectators are welcome at the “Drop Zone” on Competition Day (3 August 2024, rain date 4 August 2024), .  Parking is available at 300 Hog House Hill Rd., Exeter, RI 02822, and a clearly marked spectator area will be established for the public at the edge of the field where the Paratroopers will land.

Is it FREE?

YES.  There is NO COST to observe the Competition.

Can we bring coolers?  Cold Drinks?  Snacks?

Absolutely!  You are all welcome and encouraged to bring coolers with beverages and food.  Please NO alcoholic beverages or recreational drugs.  Also, NO types of grills (propane, charcoal, etc.) are allowed at the Drop Zone spectator area.  There will be various food trucks and vendors selling food and drinks as well!

Can we bring chairs?  Do we need a tent or umbrella to provide our own shade?

Yes, please feel free to bring chairs.  The Drop Zone spectator area is continuously being improved.  A large section of the tree line has been cleared out and cleaned up, providing a great place to sit in the natural shade and enjoy the event.  If you find this is not adequate and still need a small pop-up tent or umbrella, we just ask that you set up towards the rear of the spectator area (to avoid blocking anyone else’s view), and you secure any objects that could possibly get blown onto the Drop Zone (this is a safety factor and therefore will be strictly enforced).

Are pets allowed?

Unfortunately no, for the safety of the competing Paratroopers, support staff, fellow spectators and most importantly the animals themselves, we kindly ask that you keep all pets at home that day. Certified service animals are permitted with proper vest, markings, and documentation.


Where does LEAPFEST take place?

LEAPFEST 2023 will be based in southern Rhode Island, at the University of Rhode Island (URI), Quonset AASF and surrounding areas.  The Drop Zone is located in Exeter, RI in a large hayfield on Adams Farm off of Glen Rock Rd.

What are the dates for LEAPFEST 2024 competitors?

-International Competitors are expected to arrive 29 July 2024 and depart 07 AUGUST 2024.
-US Competitors are expected to arrive 01 AUGUST 2024 and depart 07 AUGUST 2024.

How do I Register a Team to compete at LEAPFEST?

Please visit the Registration page of the LEAPFEST website for instructions and requirements, etc:

What are the requirements for International Paratroopers looking to attend?

Detailed requirements for International Paratroopers can be found in the 2024 MOI for all INTERNATIONAL TEAMS (PDF).  The basic Registration requirements are listed below:
-Must be on an Active Military Status
-Must be authorized by the participant’s military to conduct parachute operations.
-Must have a minimum of 10 static-line parachute jumps.

What are the requirements for US Paratroopers looking to attend?

Detailed requirements for US Paratroopers can be found in the 2024 MOI for all US TEAMS (PDF).  The basic Registration requirements are listed below:
-Must be on military status (Title 10 or Title 32).
-Must be on Airborne Status (Hazardous Duty Orders (HDO).
-Must be trained and qualified on MC-6 parachute system.
-Must have a minimum of 10 jumps.  Of those 10 jumps, at least one must be with the MC-6 parachute and be annotated on the training certification memorandum (Enclosure 3).
-All competitors must be on current status (HDO) and have jumped with the MC-6 parachute system within the last 365 days of the competition.

Do we need to bring our own Riggers or Jumpmasters to support this operation?

We provide everything you need when you arrive here for the competition.  There will be a fully trained team of Riggers to pack and issue parachutes, as well as preform spot corrections.  A full ground team of JumpMasters will conduct ALL JumpMaster Personnel Inspection prior to Jumpers being Manifested.  Due to LEAPFEST Regulations, no competitors may conduct any type of JumpMaster Duty or JMPI during any part of LEAPFEST Airborne Operations.
If you would like to support the event as a Rigger or JumpMaster please contact us directly via email.

Can we participate in LEAPFEST if our Jumpers/Team are on Permissive Parachute Status?

No, unfortunately this would be a direct violation of 350-1, F-8. Army Permissive Parachuting and Training Program, f. (8) Parachuting with foreign forces must be done in conjunction with a directed mission or assigned duties. And (9) Permissive parachuting is not permitted if related to, or motivated by, personal reasons, or for recreational or ceremonial purposes.

What if some Teams complete 3 Jumps and other Teams only get 2 Jumps due to weather or running out of operational time?

We do everything in our power to get all Teams the same number of Jumps during Competition Day. If the Competition begins, but weather or blade time forces us to shutdown early, we base the scoring on the number of Jumps that all teams have completed. If all Teams do not complete at least one Jump, we will continue the operation on the scheduled weather day.

If I am a Former military Paratrooper, can I compete in the event?

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 O-5 (OF-4) or higher will suffice).

What if I am an Active/Reserve Paratrooper on Military Status, but have never jumped the MC-6 Parachute System?

-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 3).  The Training Certification (Enclosure 3), signed by an O-5 (OF-4) or higher in the competitor’s chain of command, certifies that this requirement has been met.

How many jumps will I get if I attend LEAPFEST?

-International Competitors should 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.**

Will International Paratroopers earn US Jump Wings?

YES.  International Paratroopers earn US Jump Wings upon completion of the Familiarization Jump that is conducted during the week before the Competition.

Will participating Paratroopers be able to earn Foreign Jump Wings?

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.

Is Room & Board provided for participating Paratroopers?

Billeting is provided for International competitors in dormitories at the University of Rhode Island.  US competitors are required to source their own billeting through their unit funds.  All meals will be provided for international competitors at either a URI dining facility or in the field during jump days.  Meals will not be provided for US teams with the exception of jump day.

What is the closest airport to LEAPFEST?

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 Members may choose either airport through the Defense Travel System (DTS), and are responsible for their own transportation to/from the event.​

Are family members/significant others allowed to attend the event and stay with the competitors in the dormitory?

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.