5.6μm quantum cascade lasers based on Al0.78In0.22As/In0.69Ga0.31As active region composition with measured pulsed room temperature wall plug efficiency of 28.3% are reported. Injection efficiency for the upper laser level of 75% was measured by testing devices with variable cavity length. Threshold current density of 1.7kA/cm2 and slope efficiency of 4.9W/A were measured for uncoated 3.15mm x 9µm lasers. Threshold current density and slope efficiency dependence on temperature in the range from 288K to 348K can be described by characteristic temperatures T0~140K and T1~710K, respectively. Pulsed slope efficiency, threshold current density, and wallplug efficiency for a 2.1mm x 10.4µm 15-stage device with the same design and a high reflection-coated back facet were measured to be 1.45W/A, 3.1kA/cm2 , and 18%, respectively. Continuous wave values for the same parameters were measured to be 1.42W/A, 3.7kA/cm2 , and 12%. Continuous wave optical power levels exceeding 0.5W per millimeter of cavity length was demonstrated. When combined with the 40-stage device data, the inverse slope efficiency dependence on cavity length for 15-stage data allowed for separate evaluation of the losses originating from the active region and from the cladding layers of the laser structure. Specifically, the active region losses for the studied design were found to be 0.77cm-1, while cladding region losses – 0.33cm-1. The data demonstrate that active region losses in mid wave infrared quantum cascade lasers largely define total waveguide losses and that their reduction should be one of the main priorities in the quantum cascade laser design.