19th Special Forces Soldier Places Second at International Parachuting Competition


Written by 1st Sgt. Robert Logan

Published September 21, 2005


Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Jensen

Soldiers prepare to exit a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at International Parachute Competition  in Rhode Island Aug. 13.

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. Soldiers from throughout the world competed Aug. 13 at the 23rd Annual International Parachuting Competition in East Greenwich, R.I.

The purpose of the event sponsored by National Guard Bureau and hosted annually by the Rhode Island National Guard was to foster goodwill among military parachutists from US and foreign militaries. This year’s participating countries included Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Italy, Jordan, Romania, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The object of the competition is to exit from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at 1,500 feet above ground level while steering an MC1-1D military parachute to an “X” placed on the drop zone.

Jumpers are timed from the moment their feet touch the ground until they touch a disk in the center of the “X,” and their overall score is calculated by a composite of two jumps. 

Photo by Leap Fest Staff

Once on the ground a competitor races to the center

of the "X" while at the same time trying to release one

of the riser assemblies from his harness.

Not only is accuracy critical in the competition, but speed and agility are also essential.  Once jumpers land they must perform a proper PLF (parachute landing fall), and release one riser assembly from their harness on the run, while getting to the center of the “X”.

First Sergeant Robert A. Logan, Group Support Company, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Utah National Guard, was among 260 other jumpers vying for fastest overall time at the competition.

Logan performed his two jumps with a cumulative time of 12 seconds. His first attempt lasted 11 seconds, and on his next jump it took him only one second from the time he landed until he touched the center of the “X”. He outdid all but one of the jumpers to place second overall.

The Rhode Island Soldier who took top honors had an overall time of 9 seconds. His first jump lasted 9 seconds, and on his second jump he landed right in the center of the “X.”

Photo by Spc. Desmond Reymus

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter filled with competitors hovers over

 the drop zone at the the International Parachute Competition.

Logan is by no means a rookie at neither competing nor jumping. This year was his second appearance at the competition, and he has been a military parachutist for more than 15 years.

Logan completed the US Army Basic Airborne Course in 1989 and has nearly 100 Military Static Line parachute jumps under his belt. He became a jumpmaster in 1999 and throughout all his years of airborne experience has sustained no serious injuries on a jump.

“Placing second in this competition was a tremendous honor for me as a member of the Special Operations community,” said Logan. “Last year one of our Soldiers from the 19th  took first place, so it was nice to keep one of the top awards in the family.”

Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Jensen

International competitors board at CH-47 Chinook helicopter in preparation for their first attempt to land on the "X" at the drop zone.

Photo by Spc. Desmond Reymus

Soldiers and helicopters stage in the early morning at the drop zone prior to the competition at East Greenwich, R.I., Aug. 13.