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Leapfest 2016 – International Airborne Competition

As its National Airborne Day, it seems fitting to post our wrap-up of this year’s Leapfest today – hard to believe it was already a week ago that the skies over southern Rhode Island were full of parachutes…

National Airborne Day on Aug. 16 honors the occassion of the first official parachute jump of the US Army, conducted on this date in 1940, by the volunteer Soldiers of the Parachute Test Platoon.  Other nations had already established Airborne Forces even before the US of course, including Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and even France.  The Canadian Army established its first airborne unit in July 1942.

tumblr_mtvd5tILoU1s57vgxo4_r2_1280Red Army paratroops ‘jump’ from the wing of a Tupolev bomber in an exercise during the 1930’s.

Military parachuting has come a long way since those early experimental drops, and many lessons were also learned the hard way from the combat parachute drops during the Second World War.  Today’s Paratroops jump from turbo-prop and jet-powered aircraft as well as helicopters using either a static-line to automatically deploy their parachute, or by freefalling and then manually pulling a so-called ‘rip cord’ to deploy their ‘chute – and modern parachutes also come with non-steerable and steerable round canopies for normal operations, or highly-manueverable ‘ram-air’ square canopies for special operations.

t-11-parachute-001Current-day US Army Paratroopers jump from a C-130 using the new, cruciform-shape canopied T-11 non-steerable parachute.  The T-11 system has replaced the T-10 parachute that was in use for over 50 years.

Leapfest is the largest, longest standing, international static-line parachute competition. It is hosted each year by the 56th Troop Command of the Rhode Island Army National Guard to promote training and esprit de corps within the international airborne community.

DSCN2499The team from the Czech Republic walk off the Drop Zone after a jump.

Leapfest 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.  Each team consists of 5 participants: 4 jumpers and 1 alternate jumper.

DSCN2562The combined teams from the Italian Army, Navy, Air Force and Carabinieri pose for a group photo.

Jumpers exit from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 1500 feet (457 meters) using an MC-6 static line deployed, steerable, parabolic parachute and aim to land as close as possible to a marked, designated ‘X-marks-the-spot’ on the Drop Zone.

DSCN2083DSCN2135 Continue reading

Friday Foto

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Snipers, Pathfinders and Reconnaissance members, from 2e Bataillon Royal 22e Régiment, conduct insertion and extraction by helicopter training with a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-147F Chinook helicopter during ‪#‎RIMPAC‬ on Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California on July 15, 2016.

Photo : Sgt Marc-André Gaudreault, Valcartier imaging services

Copyright: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca

Sunday Snapshot

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Picture of a group of mountain troops (‘Gebirgsjaeger’) of the West German Bundeswehr, from a 1959 issue of LIFE magazine.

Note the use of the G1 (German model FN FAL), the Bundeswehr 1956 pattern ‘Splinter’ camouflage, and the US-style ‘steel pot’ helmets.  Here’s a closer look at the M1956 Splinter Camo uniforms used in the early days of the Bundeswehr.

german_splinter_pattern_uniformPhoto source:  militaryblog.jp

Weekend Wallpaper

US, Romanian and Bulgarian Forces initiate multilateral exercise

Marines with the Combined Arms Company, Black Sea Rotational Force and Romanian Forces conduct patrols during Platinum Lion 16-2 at Novo Selo Training Area, Bulgaria, Jan. 8, 2016. Exercise Platinum Lion provides combined training with NATO Allies and partners, demonstrating our commitment to promoting a peaceful and stable Europe through theatre security cooperation engagements.

U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Justin T. Updegraff

Friday Foto

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Australian Army soldiers from the second rotation of Task Group Taji have continued the hard work of Rotation 1, delivering ongoing training to the Iraqi Army during the handover between the two rotations of troops.

TG Taji Rotation 2 members, who completed the handover from Rotation 1 in mid December, have sustained training in urban clearances, explosive hazard awareness training, medical and live fire practices in the early stages of their rotation.

The Iraqi Security Forces continue to be trained by Task Group Taji personnel from Australia and New Zealand at the Taji Military Complex in Iraq as part of the broader international Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission. The training includes weapon handling, building clearances and obstacle breaching techniques; as well as training in the Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for squad through to company-level operations to use in their fight against Daesh.

Task Group Taji’s BPC contribution is part of Australia’s broader Defence contribution to Iraq, codenamed Operation OKRA, which includes a Special Operations Task Group and an Air Task Group.

1st Joint Public Affairs Unit, Australian Army

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