Soldiers with the Maryland Army National Guard’s Special Operations Detachment recently participated in Leapfest, an international static line parachute training event and competition.
Army Master Sgts. William Stout, Grover Thompson, Kevin Facemeyer and Army Maj. Mark Westphall, represented one of three teams of elite paratroopers from the SOD.
Claiming the title of top paratrooper in the world with the best individual time was Stout. In the team category, his team placed seventh overall.
“All I really wanted to do was to go there and support my team and unit the best I could,” said Stout.
A native of State College in central Pennsylvania, he dominated the individual event by exiting a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at an altitude of 1,500 feet and hitting the landing target after touching down within two seconds.
Leapfest consists of individual and team events requiring more than 300 competitors and 70 teams, representing some of the best paratroopers from around the world, to perform two jumps individually and eight jumps as a team. Paratroopers must land as close as possible to a marked, designated area within the landing zone. Upon completion of a parachute landing fall, the competitors are timed by qualified judges until reaching a designated completion area.