165th ASOS Jumps at Leapfest 30

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Monica Eusebio
  • 165th Airlift Wing
The 165th Air Support Operation Squadron (ASOS) traveled to West Kingston, R.I. to participate in the 2012 Leapfest on August 3rd and 4th, 2012. It is the largest, longest standing, international static line parachute training event and competition. A team consists of four members that have to jump out of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from an altitude of 1500 feet, air strapped to a MC1-1C/D static line, steerable, parabolic parachute.

The Georgia Air National Guard was represented by three jumpers from the 165th Air Support Operation Squadron and one jumper from North Carolina's 118th ASOS. The competitors were Capt. Roger Brooks, Senior Master Sgt. A.J. Freshwater, Master Sgt. Ryan Baker, and Staff Sgt. Richard Player of the 118th ASOS. The highest individual finisher from the team was Staff Sgt. Richard Player with a cumulative time of 59.2 seconds.

There were over 250 participants, including nine foreign jump teams. Teams included members of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Reserves and National Guard. The international teams hailed from Germany, Canada, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Netherlands.

The competition was held at the University of Rhode Island and organized by the Rhode Island National Guard. This is the 30th year of the competition.

Due to low visibility the teams experienced long delays during both days of the competition. Once the sky cleared the teams boarded the Chinooks at the pick-up zone, jumped out at the drop-zone and tried to land as close to the bright orange 'X' as possible. They are scored by the cumulative time it takes each jumper to touch the 'X'.  The championship team is determined by the lowest time of the three jumps, while an individual champion is recognized as the jumper with lowest personal time.

This international jump competition was started by the Rhode Island National Guard 56th Troop Command in 1982 as a way to stay in contact with parachutists from other countries and branches of service.