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CAF parachuters compete in annual international competition

Ten parachuters from the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment, will take to the skies and compete in the international competition, Leapfest 2016.

Running from Aug. 1 to Aug. 9, Leapfest is an annual event organized by the Rhode Island National Guard. For the 34th year, the competition will allow parachutists from around the world the chance to sharpen their technical and skill-demonstrating abilities.

According to a Department of National Defence (DND) press release, “The purpose of Leapfest is to provide a venue and opportunity for parachutists to demonstrate their proficiency in parachute operations in a competitive environment and to foster good relationships with international paratroopers and armies.”

Teams consist of five members, four parachutists, and one alternate. The teams will exit from a CH-147 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 457 meters using an MC-6 static line, the length of cord used by paratroopers instead of a ripcord to open the parachute; and steerable, parabolic parachute.

The parachutists must land as close to the fluorescent marked X. Participants are timed by judges until they reach that designated spot.

Last year a total of 244 paratroopers competed in Leapfest.

Canadian Army paratroopers, historically, have had a great deal of success in this largest and longest-standing international static line parachute competition in the world. Teams from the Royal 22e Regiment were Leapfest champions in 2002 and 2012.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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