EXETER, R.I. – U.S. Army Airborne Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians recently participated in the largest and longest-running international static line parachute competition in the world.
A team from the U.S. Army’s 192nd Ordnance Battalion (EOD) competed against other U.S. and international airborne troops during Leapfest 2022, which was held in Exeter, Rhode Island, and hosted by the Rhode Island National Guard’s 56th Troop Command.
The team included 1st Sgt. Rob Crull and Sgt. Robert T. Paul Jr. from the 722nd EOD Company, Staff Sgt. Charlie Cacavas from the 28th EOD Company (Airborne) and Sgt. Shane C. Krieski from the 767th EOD Company.
The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based EOD team placed 14 out of 55 teams in the competition. Crull placed 31 out of 260 paratroopers in the individual competition.
The teams jumped out of CH-47 Chinook helicopters from 1,500 feet and steered MC-6 parachutes toward an “X” on the ground.
Once the teams landed, the clock started until they reached the “X” and the team with the lowest time won.
The competition required each jumper to complete two jumps to qualify for an individual award and teams had to jump eight times for the team award. Only one competition jump was done because of the weather, said Crull.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based EOD units from 192nd EOD Battalion support the 82nd Airborne Division on Immediate Response Force missions around the world.
When assigned to the rotational Immediate Response Force mission, Airborne EOD Soldiers have to stay ready to deploy within 18 hours.
The 192nd EOD Battalion is part of the 52nd EOD Group and 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier deployable all hazards command.
American Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians deploy from 19 bases in 16 states to take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
During Leapfest, teams from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force competed with teams from Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Both Active Duty and National Guard teams from the U.S. participated in the competition.
A seasoned EOD leader who has deployed 13 times and served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, Crull said the competition gave the EOD technicians a chance to gain additional experience and to discuss operations with other conventional and Special Forces airborne troops.
“Leapfest enabled the jumpers from the 192nd EOD Battalion to get extra jumps to build proficiency and prepare themselves for jumpmaster courses,” said Crull.